CM – Rookie Roster: India’s White Ball newbies begin Lankan auditions for vacant T20 World Cup slots

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India’s bank strength has envied all of the top cricket nations and enabled two national teams to compete in different parts of the world during COVID times.

Published: July 17, 2021 16:20 |

Last updated: July 17, 2021 4:20 pm

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COLOMBO: A bunch of fresh faces will be desperately looking for a fair T20 World Cup audition when India’s different-looking but impressive white ball team face an under-fired Sri Lanka in a six-game limited overs competition starting with the first ODI hereDI on Sunday.

Winning an international series is paramount, but one can expect some combinations to be tried during a series that is changing due to COVID-19 fear in the Sri Lankan camp Delayed by five days.

Dasun Shanaka is their tenth captain in four years and apart from a classic batsman like Dhananjaya de Silva and a steady pace in Dishmantha Chameera, this team lacks the quality to take the power of the Indian team under the Challenge Shikhar Dhawan’s leadership.

The suspension of Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella due to a ruptured bio-bubble in the UK and the injury ex-skipper Kusal Perera put Sri Lanka in a difficult position.

If they manage to win a game it will be an achievement in themselves after a disastrous tour of England.

Expect Prithvi Shaw , the top scorer of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, will open alongside Dhawan, while seniors Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are expected to find automatic slots in the game.

Will it be Devdutt Padikkal or Ruturaj Gaikwad for the No 3 slot? Will Suryakumar Yadav’s 360-degree hit ability be used or does Manish Pandey get one last chance to show some persistence? Are Krishnappa Gowtham’s off-spin and big hits preferred to Krunal Pandya’s left arm darts along with cheeky hitting skills? How does Rahul Chahar stand against Yuzvendra Chahal, who has not been at her best lately? And who puts on the big gloves? Is it Rahul Dravid’s protégé Sanju Samson or the lively Mumbai Indian Ishan Kishan who can really strike? These questions will have to be answered by the team management in Colombo over the next 11 days.

India’s bank strength envied all top cricket nations and enabled two national teams to compete in different parts of the world during COVID times. </ While the men at Virat Kohli seek to correct their dismal test record in England, the team led by Dhawan and trained by Dravid – the man responsible for creating the pool – will never accept that this is a team of the "Second row" is taking on islanders going through their deepest ebb.

A team headed by Dhawan and Shaw along with Pandey, Suryakumar, Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal, experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar and spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav can be anything but weaklings.

Some of these players are T20 regulars and while the 50-over format for the global event i n the next three months, both Dravid and Dhawan know the importance of playing time.

Although there are six uncap players in this Indian lineup, Dravid recently made it clear that it will be difficult to to provide game time to all available players.

Both Dravid and Dhawan are expected to consult with Ravi Shastri and Kohli on what to look for from the range of players available to them.

There aren’t many Slots in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup and it would take a lot from the rookies to find a slot in the UAE team.

Among the newcomers, Varun Chakravarthy, who is probably only used in the shortest format, has a good chance on the World T20 Cut and Chetan Sakariya’s seam bowling on the left arm is an option they’d love to check out.

Chahal and Kuldeep, the couple who couldn’t go wrong until the 2019 World Cup, both currently have borrowed time and it couldn’t have been a better time to go up against a struggling Sri Lanka.

However, Dhawan himself is still not sure he has a ticket to the UAE extravaganza as Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are contenders for the opening of the innings.

Dhawan is someone who can only play at the top and the skipper himself would like to maintain his supremacy in both formats.

The same applies to Buvneshwar, who likes to play together with Jasprit Bumrah in this T20 attack.

India: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Krishnappa Gowthal, Yuzvendra Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakaravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini.

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (Captain) De, Dhananjaya De. Dhananjaya Silva (Vice Captain), Avishka Fe rnando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Udara, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dush Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dhananjaya, Shiran Fernando Aswicka, Jayaratemaen, Jayarat Jayaen Lakshan, Shiran Fernando, Dhananjayaen Lakshan , Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana.

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