While the preparation for World Test Championship Final is underway for the Indian team, BCCI managed to fit in a T20I and ODI series against Sri Lanka after the Final. As the regular players from the Indian squad would be in England, BCCI has selected other players to tour Sri Lanka. Shikhar Dhawan has been chosen as the captain, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy.
Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-capt), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya
Net bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, R Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh
As we can see, 5 players, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya have all received maiden call-ups to the national team. But who are the players from the Indian team to watch out for in this tour? Let’s find out:
1. Suryakumar Yadav
For a talented player, Suryakumar had an extremely long wait to get a national call. After getting a call at the age of 30 for the T20I series against England, he made the most of this opportunity. Suryakumar scored 89 runs in 2 matches. In one of those games, he was also awarded the ‘Man of the Match’.Embed from Getty Images
But this tour against Sri Lanka has much more in store for him. A good performance will lead to his selection in the T20 World Cup squad for Suryakumar. Also, he will have an opportunity to step up, as India’s key batsmen Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli are not in the team.
2. Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey was once a regular in the Indian limited-over setup. Despite a few decent performances for the Indian team, he saw himself out of the team because of the lack of any big scores. To add to it, he has been under severe criticism for not being able to win matches for his IPL team, Sunrisers Hyderabad.Embed from Getty Images
Hence, this tour will be of utmost importance to him to prove his worth and win some games for the team. Just like Suryakumar Yadav, a few good performances might earn him a call in the squad for the T20 World Cup.
3. Sanju Samson
After 3 consecutive failures for India in the T20I series against Australia, Samson saw his way out of the Indian team. Once considered a prodigy, Samson’s stats in T20Is aren’t even a shadow of how good a batsman he is. Playing against a team like Sri Lanka in conditions similar to home should put him in a comfortable spot. To add to it, he will be coming off a confident stint as the captain of Rajasthan Royals.Embed from Getty Images
4. Kuldeep Yadav
There hasn’t been a story sadder than Kuldeep Yadav’s downfall in recent Indian cricket history. Once touted to be India’s future in spin bowling and a reliable all-format bowler, Kuldeep slowly faded out owing to poor performances and high economy-rates. In fact, he has picked only 14 wickets in his last 16 ODIs. He hasn’t even played a single match for KKR in the phase 1 of IPL 2021, and had a forgettable IPL 2020.Embed from Getty Images
Given all this, he has a lot to play for. He might not be the first choice in the playing XI given that there are a lot of spinners in the squad, but if he gets an opportunity, he should make it count.
5. Shikhar Dhawan
This is none other than the captain himself. While he has always been a key player for India in the ODIs, this opportunity has come for him right at the time when his spot in T20Is is at stake. While he would be an obvious selection in the India’s squad for T20 World Cup, his spot in the playing XI is still in doubt. Few good games in this series can clear all those doubts. To add to it, he is coming after an impressive IPL season too.Embed from Getty Images
Featured Image: BCCI | Twitter
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