After beating the West Indies in the ODIs and T20Is, India are all set to start their campaign in 2020, the year when they are set to play the T20 World Cup in Australia. The Men in Blue’s first assignment next year is the T20I series against Sri Lanka, starting Sunday, January 5 at Guwahati’s Barsapara Stadium.
Meanwhile, it’s been known that Rohit Sharma many take a break from the series. Sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said that Rohit doesn’t wish to play the T20I series. The board understands that the opener has had a strenuous time across formats and hence, wants to take some time off the game.
If Rohit doesn’t play, the selections need a find an apt replacement. The same could also open the doors on a number of players, who have been waiting in the wings for quite a while.
In the article, let’s look at three players who can replace Rohit Sharma for the Lanka T20Is:-
It won’t be wrong in saying that Shikhar Dhawan has strained for Team India in the T20 format, especially over the last few months. To add insult to injury, last month, he injured his knee in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy after which he couldn’t take part in the T20I and ODI series versus the West Indies.
KL Rahul opened alongside Rohit Sharma and grabbed the opportunity with both hands. For the Lanka T20Is, it would’ve been tough to sideline Rahul, who’s been in imperious form. Also, with Rohit being a vital member of the national team, Dhawan would’ve found it tough to stake his claim back into the setup.
But with Rohit likely to be unavailable, there’s a chance for Dhawan to walk into the eleven. The southpaw has also passed all the fitness tests and is available for selection.
Suryakumar Yadav has been in India’s domestic T20 circuit for nearly a decade. The 29-year-old has impressed one and all in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well, representing Mumbai Indians (MI) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
In 149 T20s, Surya has an average of 31.37, scoring 3012 runs at a strike-rate of 139.12. He also showed his class for Mumbai in the 2019-20 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The Mumbai-born turned out to be the third-highest run-scorer of the tournament with 392 runs in 11 matches at an average of 56.
He played at a strike-rate of 168.96, far more than his career strike-rate. Harbhajan Singh, the veteran Indian spinner, has also backed him to break into the Indian team. Surya has opened plenty of times and won’t be the worst of choices as Rohit’s replacement.
Mayank Agarwal has been on a purple patch in 2019 where has racked up runs with authority, irrespective of the format. It’s only been a year since ye forayed in the Indian team and has taken rapid strides. He is India’s leading Test run-scorer in the year, having scored 754 runs at 68.54.
The fact that he has hit 18 sixes in eight Tests this year, shows the intent with which he takes the field. The Karnataka batter is already in the selectors’ radar as far as the white-ball formats are concerned. He has been called up twice thus far, first as Vijay Shankar’s replacement in the 2019 World Cup and then for Dhawan in the West Indies ODIs.
In this year’s IPL, Mayank scored 332 runs at an average of 25.53, striking at 141.88 and hence a T20I call up is well and truly on the cards for the 28-year-old.
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