Nidahas Trophy has given the fringe players an opportunity to showcase their mettle in the absence of regulars like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Some have grabbed the chances to push for their case, while others haven’t.
The likes of Washinton Sundar and Vijay Shankar have made this tournament their own, displaying excellent skills with the ball. Team India looks settled for the final showdown, except for one slot.
Among the fast bowlers, only Shardul Thakur has lived up to the expectations. Jaydev Unadkat, who had strong T20I performances against Sri Lanka at home and in the recently-concluded series in South Africa as well, has leaked far too many runs in this series and was eventually replaced by Mohammad Siraj.
Siraj, although got only one chance, has failed to make a case for himself giving away 50 runs in his quota of 4 overs. But, India cannot afford another such event in the all-important final. And going by his track record, the chances of him playing in the final are slim. In his two other Twenty 20 international appearances, the fast bowler had conceded 1/53 against New Zealand and 1/45 against Sri Lanka.
Axar Patel is one of the choices with Team India now and has a decent limited-over International record to push for his case. In 38 One Day Internationals, the left-arm spinner has picked 45 wickets at a bowling average of 31 and economy rate of 4.43, while in the 11 T20I appearances, Patel has claimed 9 wickets at an excellent economy of 6.79.
But, will India go with three spinners?