India vs Sri Lanka: A second-string Indian team is set to play three ODIs and as many T20 internationals against Sri Lanka, starting 18th July 2021. Indian team is comprised of a mixture of youth and experience. The series would hold a lot of importance for both the youngsters as well as experienced campaigners in the squad.
With the T20 World Cup coming later this year, everyone would be keen to put their best foot forward. However, there are some specific players in the squad whom the selectors will be watching keenly.
Here’s a look at five of those Indian players for whom the SL series will be important:
The senior member of the team, Shikhar Dhawan has been presented the opportunity to lead the team against Sri Lanka. Prior to the start of the IPL, Dhawan had been out of the selectors’ scheme of things for the T20 World Cup. He didn’t get selected in the last four matches out of the five-match T20 series against England.
Come IPL 2021, the Indian Cricket, once again, made heads turn, going hammer and tongs in the competition. Dhawan scored a plethora of runs in the tournament and finished as the highest run-getter before the tournament got suspended following a surge in cases of Covid-19.
Dhawan is currently in sensational form and a good tournament with the bat in the Sri Lanka series could push his case for the T20 World Cup.
The Mumbai batsman has made a lot of noise in the last couple of years with his bat. He has been a prolific run-scorer for MI in the IPL. Sensational performances in the IPL 2020 helped him earn a national call-up in the T20 series against England.
In his very first international innings, he compiled a brilliant half-century, followed by another top knock of 32 runs off 17 balls. Suryakumar, however, had a silent 2021 IPL season, scoring 173 runs in 7 games at an average of 24.71.
The management has shown faith in him and made him bat at number three in the final two T20 internationals against England. All eyes will be on him in the Sri Lanka series as it remains to be seen how he performs in the upcoming six games.
There is currently a lot of competition for places in the current Indian team, given that the T20 World Cup is only a few months away. For someone like Manish Pandey, the upcoming series against Sri Lanka would perhaps be the last chance to make a case for himself for the showpiece event.
He failed to accelerate in the IPL 2021 while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He scored 193 runs in 5 games but his strike rate of 123.71 remained a cause of concern. It will be interesting if we could see Pandey taking an attacking route in the series and exhibit his six-hitting ability. The hopes aren’t too high though.
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