With most of India’s white-ball regulars currently in
England for the Test series, the Men in Blue have named a second-string squad
for their limited overs tour of Sri Lanka with five players receiving their
maiden call-up to the national squad.
There are plenty of fresh faces who can make a mark in this
series and stake their claim for India’s T20 World Cup Squad, and here are 3
debutants to watch out for in the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Devdutt Padikkal burst onto the scene at IPL 2020 in the
UAE, scoring 473 runs in 15 games and picking up the emerging player of the
season award. The Karnataka batsman continued that rich vein of form in his second
year with RCB in 2021 where he scored a scintillating century against the
Rajasthan Royals and upped his strike rate to 152 for the season.
Padikkal also starred for Karnataka in the 2021 Vijay Hazare
Trophy, scoring 4 consecutive centuries and a whopping 727 runs throughout the
tournament. These promising performances have earned him a place in India’s
squad for the Sri Lanka tour and although competition is currently fierce at
the top of the order, the swash-buckling left-hander is definitely one of the
stars for the future for the Men in Blue.
After plenty of fitness and injury issues over the past 12
months, Varun Chakravarthy is finally set to make his T20I debut for India
against Sri Lanka.
Chakravarthy has excelled for the Kolkata Knight Riders in
the IPL, picking up 25 wickets at an economy rate of 7.3 in his two seasons
with the franchise. The mystery spinner is equipped with plenty of variations
and could be used as Shikhar Dhawan’s trump card in the middle overs against
the inexperienced Sri Lankan batters.
Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the India squad after his
troubles against the moving ball in Australia but the Mumbai youngster has
changed his fortunes in 2021, performing incredibly well in the IPL and the
Shaw worked on his batting technique with coach Pravin Amre
and proceeded to have a record-breaking Vijay Hazare trophy with Mumbai,
scoring 827 runs from eight games with an astonishing average of 165. Shaw
continued this form into the 2021 IPL, scoring 308 runs at a strike rate of 166
for the Delhi Capitals in the first eight games of the season.
The Mumbai opener is expected to make his T20I debut in this
series and could make a compelling case for his selection in India’s T20 World
Cup Squad with a strong performance.