This will be only the second time in Indian Cricket history that India will be fielding two different national cricket teams. Team India is scheduled to travel to England for the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship against New Zealand from June 18 to June 22 at Southampton. The same will be followed by the visitors locking horns against England in the five-match Test series, starting from August 4.
Since there are no fixtures planned for Team India in the English nation in July, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has planned a limited-overs India tour of Sri Lanka. The tour will feature a relatively young and new Indian side as most of the first-choice players will be travelling to England for Test fixtures. The white-ball team travelling to Sri Lanka will be without many big names including the likes of captain Virat Kohli, vice-Captain Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, and many more.
The absence of the big names will also pave the way for the youngsters to make their maiden appearance for the National side. Many players who have been performing well in the domestic circuit and in the Indian Premier League (IPL) are likely to make their debut or comeback during the India tour of Sri Lanka comprising three One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals. Here’s a look at the uncapped Indian players who can get a chance on the Sri Lanka tour.
1. Devdutt Padikkal
The young opening batsman Devdutt Padikkal was the story of the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Karnataka-born stole all the thunder on his debut last year for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by smashing a stunning half-century against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).
Devdutt continued his dream run in the entire tournament as he finished IPL 2020 as the leading run-scorer for RCB with 473 runs under his belt at an average of 31.53 and a strike rate of 124.80. If people thought that last year was a fluke, the 20-year-old weaved his magic in the now-suspended IPL 2021 and proved that he is here to stay.
In six matches of IPL 2021, Padikkal smashed 195 runs at an astonishing strike rate of 152.34 and an average of 39.00. With such brilliant performances in two consecutive IPL seasons, it won’t be wrong to say that an Indian debut isn’t far away for the young rookie. In addition, since India’s veteran opening batsman Rohit Sharma won’t be traveling to Sri Lanka, Devdutt Padikkal makes a case for himself to open the innings for the Men in Blue.
2. Varun Chakravarthy
The leg-spinner Varun Chakravarthy has been constantly gaining the limelight owing to his blistering performance in the Indian Premier League and domestic circuit. In 21 IPL matches, Chakravarthy has 25 scalps under his name at an economy rate of 7.34 and an average of 24.4. In the recent past, the leg-spinner has emerged as the main powerplay and middle-order bowler for Kolkata Knight Riders.
Varun is also in the scheme of things for the Indian selectors and he has already received his maiden call-up to the Indian team twice but has failed to make it to the tour due to a variety of reasons. After IPL 2020, the 29-year-old was named in India’s T20I squad for the three-match away series against Australia. However, the spinner’s shoulder injury resurfaced and he couldn’t take the flight to Sydney.
Earlier in the year, the Bidar-born got a call-up to the Indian team for five T20 Internationals against England but he failed to complete the fitness test and thus was asked to improve his physical fitness at NCA. The selectors can look at Varun as one of the main spinners for India during the Sri Lanka tour as the bowler seemed fit during IPL 2021 and will be eager to don the Indian colors this time.
3. Rahul Tewatia
The spin all-rounder Rahul Tewatia attracted the attention of the cricket fraternity during IPL 2020 when he smacked as many as five sixes to Sheldon Cottrell. Playing for Rajasthan Royals, Tewatia produced decent results both with the bat and ball in IPL 2020. In 14 matches, he scored 255 runs at an average of 42.50 and a strike rate of 139.34.
The 28-year-old also picked up ten wickets with the ball while bowling at an economy rate of 7.08. The Haryana Stalwart flaunted his class during IPL 2021 too, and was at his fluent best both with the bat and ball. For his exemplary performance last year, the all-rounder received his maiden-call up for the T20I series against England but fitness concerns stopped him from being included in the main squad.
However, if the spinner manages to keep his fitness intact, he has very high chances of flying to Sri Lanka with the limited-overs squad. Both the Indian spin all-rounder’s Axar Patel and Ravindra Jadeja will be travelling to England. Thus, Tewatia can make his debut for the Men in Blue.
4. Ruturaj Gaikwad
IPL 2020 was a season of disappointments for three-time champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK). However, the young opening batter Ruturaj Gaikwad emerged as a positive from an otherwise torrid campaign. Towards the end of IPL 2020, he scripted history by becoming the first uncapped Indian to smash three consecutive 50+ scores in the league. Gaikwad carried his blistering form in IPL 2021 too as he opened alongside Faf du Plessis for the Super Kings.
In seven games in now-suspended IPL 2021, Ruturaj scored 197 runs at a strike rate of 128.94 and an average of 28. With such good numbers under his belt, it will be hard for the Indian selectors to ignore him when they will be picking up the squad for the tour of Sri Lanka.
Also with many opening batters including the likes of Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, and Rohit Sharma going to England, the competition at the top of the batting order has reduced to a certain extent.
5. Chetan Sakariya
It won’t be wrong to say that Chetan Sakariya has been the story of the now-postponed 14th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Sakariya bagged a five-wicket haul in his debut Ranji match during the 2018-19 season. His heroics at the domestic level prompted Rajasthan Royals (RR) to shell out a staggering amount of INR 1.2 crores during the IPL 2021 auctions.
The whopping amount raised a lot of eyebrows in the cricket fraternity but Chetan flaunted his class in the championship and managed to rattle the opposition batters with his swing and accuracy. The 23-year-old got off to a decent debut as he picked seven wickets in as many games at an economy of 8.22.
The point that works in the favour of Sakariya is that he is a left-arm pacer. It is no secret that there is a dearth of left-arm pacers in India and the selectors are always on the hunt of finding a left-hander seamer for the Indian team. Their search might end up on the young RR seamer.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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