India Tour of Sri Lanka: India’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka for the limited-overs series offers a chance to a few white-ball specialists to prove their worth and book their places in India’s ICC T20 World Cup Squad. There are as many as 6 players from the upcoming limited-overs series who can make it to India’s T20 World Cup squad. While some of the players in the Sri Lanka tour squad are already strong contenders for the T20 World Cup squad, it will be a mere match-practice for them. The likes of skipper Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav can impress the selectors to ensure their selection in the T20 World Cup.
India will play 3 ODIs and as many T20Is against Sri Lanka in Colombo under Rahul Dravid’s mentorship, beginning July 13. The core India team, led by Virat Kohli is currently in England for a four-month-long tour including the ICC WTC Final.
While some of the players in the Sri Lanka tour squad have already confirmed their places in T20 World Cup squad and it will be a mere match-practice for them, Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are still chasing a spot. From the squad, only Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have sealed their places while Dhawan is almost certain to keep his place.
InsideSport takes a look at the members of India’s Tour of Sri Lanka squad who will look to perform well and book a ticket for the ICC T20 World Cup which is slated to begin from October 18.
- Shikhar Dhawan
It won’t be surprising to see senior player Shikhar Dhawan as the T20 World Cup pick. He has been adjudged as the captain for Team India on the tour to Sri Lanka. However, with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and even Virat Kohli emerging as openers in T20Is for India, his place has certainly been up for toss. However, if he can back his IPL 2021 performance with a few good knocks in Colombo, he will be a certainty for T20 World Cup.
- Yuzvendra Chahal
The leggie for Team India has not been getting his writs turning well since India’s tour to Australia. With a brilliant show in just one T20I match against the Aussies, he had been inconsistent with the bowling since then. Woes even continued for Chahal in the home series against England and IPL 2021 later, where he was a little too expensive and struggled to take wickets. Thus, his performance during the tour to Sri Lanka is crucial to decide his spot going ahead.
- Kuldeep Yadav
The partner in crime with Chahal, especially with the whiteball, Yadav has for long been unable to play for the Indian side due to his poor performance. With a prolonged spell away from cricket, Yadav failed to impress with the ball in his ODI matches that he played against England at home. Having soaring high economy and going wicketless, he didn’t get a chance to play for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in IPL 2021. It’s a do or die situation for Yadav, whose boots are shaky with Krunal Pandya sitting at the bench.
- Manish Pandey
Underdog by name, but dominant by records, Manish Pandey has a likely chance for ICC T20 World Cup spot, if he performs in Sri Lanka. His recent form in IPL 2021 where he aggregated 193 runs from 5 matches, coupled with his International T20 records averaging 44.31 can earn him a spot. Though he played long ago for the men in blue, he can be a promising player otherwise if he receives some regular opportunities for Team India.
- Sanju Samson
A super-striker and the missile person with the bat, Sanju Samson has been a once in a blue moon person for Team India. However, his sheer performance with the bat during Sri Lanka tour, combining with his recent sublime form in IPL 2021 (277 runs off 7 matches) can offer him a berth in the T20 World Cup. No doubt, he will have to snatch his spot from Suryakumar Yadav.
- Suryakumar Yadav
The right-handed batsmen exploited the little chances whenever he got to play for India. Contributing significantly to the match-winning performances during theT20I’s against England, he can fairly make his place in the ICC T20 World Cup, if things go the likely way in Sri Lanka too. His consistent IPL performances with Mumbai Indians (MI) are yet another reason to back him up.
No doubt the competition on the bench strength is rife, thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL), which has produced loads of talent. Among India’s squad announced for the Sri Lankan tour, there is a lineage of youngsters- Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, and Ishan Kishan, who can write their lucky scripts to ICC T20 World Cup after a promising career start in Sri Lanka.