Cricket has seen many evolutions in a fast-paced world, and the sport's longest format – Test cricket – has not lost its allure among true cricket fans. Playing the oldest format of the game remains a dream for all cricketers who began their careers in this sport. The most important aspect of the format is patience, and India's Rahul Dravid is the poster child for it.
He was dubbed the "Wall of Indian Cricket" because he used to build an innings brick by brick. Dravid is still the fourth highest Test run-scorer. After 164 Test matches, India's batting legend Rahul Dravid retired in 2012. Cheteshwar Pujara was expected to fill the void left by his retirement due to his defensive abilities and calm demeanour. The modern-day wall performed admirably in that location, propelling the team to numerous victories. However, this 33-year-old player appeared to be past his prime and out of shape recently. There have been calls for him to be replaced in India's Test team.
1. Hanuma Vihari
Hanuma Vihari, a classic Indian Test batter, is the list's top contender. The batter is from Andhra Pradesh and has extensive first-class cricket experience. He is well-known for his calm demeanour and defensive batting techniques.
After a stellar first-class career, the 28-year-old player made his Test debut for India in 2018. He has appeared in 12 games and scored 624 runs at an average of 32.84. He currently has a century and four half-centuries under his belt.
Unlike other formats, which require only match winners, Test matches require match savers. Vihari is a one-of-a-kind player, as evidenced by a few of his innings, most notably his last appearance against Australia, where he saved the drowning match with his 23 off 161 deliveries. He is a proven player who could be a good fit at No. 3 in the future.
2. Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Indian Premier League's discovery, is gradually working his way up the ranks after a standout performance for Chennai Super Kings. He won the Orange Cap in the 2021 IPL, and his graceful batting technique has amused the cricketing community.
Ruturaj has impressed everyone and appears to be India's future cricketer. He is included in this list not only because of his IPL performances, but also because of his batting techniques and first-class statistics, which show him to be a worthy contender in the listicle.
The Maharashtrian has played 21 first-class matches and scored 1349 runs at a respectable 38.54 average. He began his first-class career as a No.3 batter in 2016. He is undoubtedly a future prospect for the Indian cricket team and could fill the void left by Pujara.
3. Abhimanyu Easwaran
The top-order batter from Bengal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, is a well-known name in the domestic circuit. He has been playing first-class cricket since 2013 and was selected for the Indian 'A' team due to his significant run contribution in the domestic seasons. In 65 first-class matches, he has scored 4504 runs at an incredible average of 44.15.
In first-class cricket, he has 14 hundreds and 18 fifties to his name. He has the highest score of 233 runs and a good defensive bat technique. This 26-year-old player recently made headlines for his century for India 'A' against South Africa 'A' in South Africa.
His experience and statistics while playing red-ball cricket may lead to him being called up to the national team in the near future. He is unquestionably a contender for Pujara's spot.