Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, in an exclusive chat with Hindustan Times, talked about captain Shikhar Dhawan, how important Hardik Pandya is to India’s chances, and the areas Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal need to improve to regain lost glory before the upcoming limited-overs series against Sri Lanka.
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan was excited about the Indian side in Sri Lanka that has six fresh faces and is filled with players eager to make it big.
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan Hopes Shikhar Dhawan Will Come Good
Former Indian cricketer Laxman Sivaramakrishnan believes that Shikhar Dhawan’s presence brings a lot for the Indian side. Shikhar Dhawan will serve as India’s captain for the first time when it takes on Sri Lanka in three ODIs and three T20Is in Colombo from the 18th of July. Laxman Sivaramakrishnan underlined that the southpaw is definitely on the selectors’ minds ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Shikhar Dhawan’s spot for the T20 World Cup later this year came under doubt after his failure at the top against England at home. The 35-year old got axed after only one outing as India tried different opening combinations after that. But he stormed back into the discussion after a consistent run in the first half of IPL 2021. The Delhi Capitals’ opener ended as the highest run-getter in the 1st half of IPL 2021 by playing several match-winning knocks.
“With experience and the ability to know what shots to play on different pitches, he’s going to be very very useful always. As captain, he needs to lead from the front, nothing like a captain succeeding.
“The very fact that Shikhar has been taken to Sri Lanka, means that he is very much in the selector’s mind otherwise they would have sent somebody younger. He’s definitely there in the scheme of things,” said Laxman Sivaramakrishnan on Shikhar Dhawan.
” Prithvi is a very good player on the offside. If he gets through the first few overs and perhaps improves his leg side strokeplay then he will be more than a handful. He just needs to work hard on his fitness, fielding and batting.
“If he brushes up his technique a little bit with the bat coming down straight, he can do well in red-ball cricket as well. He has done well in Test matches. No reason why he can’t improve his technique, get back and be successful.” on opener Prithvi Shaw.
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan: Hardik Pandya Will Have An Integral Part To Play And Will Be The Key For India Once He Starts Bowling After Regaining Full Fitness
Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has tipped all-rounder Hardik Pandya to emulate the likes of Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni in that department. Hardik Pandya is arguably one of the cleanest strikers of the ball. The 27-year old’s transition to the international arena happened through the IPL for the Mumbai Indians. He would be crucial to India’s chances in the upcoming T20 World Cup.
“Rahul Dravid was technically very sound. Probably after Sunil Gavaskar, one of the most technically correct Indian batsmen. That will rub off on the players and he’s a good person to chat with. Players won’t feel apprehensive about reaching out to him,” on Rahul Dravid.
“Hardik Pandya have an integral part to play. The moment he starts bowling after regaining full fitness, I think Hardik will be the key for India. After a long time, we’ve got a seam-bowling all-rounder who balances the side. If Hardik is fully fit, he becomes a tremendous asset to the team.” on Hardik Pandya as bowler.
” We are still looking to find a good finisher after Dhoni. Hardik Pandya can be an extremely dangerous finisher.Hardik can contribute to all three departments of the game,” on Hardik Pandya as finisher.
“Because of the absence of the Ranji Trophy, Kuldeep has not been able to go back, play for his state and become a better bowler. Hopefully, this all ends soon. Kuldeep is still a young man, who can make a comeback,” on Kuldeep Yadav
“Chahal definitely has to have a little more in his armoury. Now batsmen are more methodical against him. They are finding shots against Chahal. Chahal needs to improve his bowling tactics and keep the batsmen guessing,” he said about Yuxzvendra Chahal.
“Most of the teams don’t have a great idea of what Varun Chakravarthy bowls. Being the mystery bowler that he is and if he has a good tour of Sri Lanka then it will be good. India should not overexpose him and play him as a mystery bowler in the World Cup and you never know, he could be very successful,” on Varun Chakravarthy.
“When you get youngsters in the squad, there is more energy, more athleticism, more positivity. For us, they are Indian cricketers, they are wearing Indian colours. We will route for them hoping they will definitely prove a point. If you are asking for a prediction then it will be 2-1 in both the series in India’s favour,” on probability of a whitewash.
The likes of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have struggled with the white ball in recent times. Thus their fortunes depend vastly on the upcoming Sri Lanka series and then the IPL. However, the former leg-spinner turned commentator Laxman Sivaramakrishnan has pinned his hopes on Varun Chakravarthy ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal as the latter is stagnating.