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Kuldeep Yadav

India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
India cricket team. Photo: @BCCI
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ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will start from 17th October immediately after the conclusion of IPL’s UAE leg. Cricket experts and fans got filled with excitement after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the schedule for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2021 to be staged in the UAE.

Notably, the marquee tournament is scheduled to begin on 17th October and the finals of the event will take place on 14th November in United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meanwhile, Team India will be entering the tournament as one of the favourites to win the Cup having won it only once previously in the inaugural 2007 edition.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021:- Representational image of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad
ICC T20 World Cup 2021:- Representational image of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup trophy | AFP / Jewel Samad

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Squad, Schedule, Date, Time, And Venue

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India Placed In Group B Alongside Pakistan, New Zealand, And Afghanistan

India is placed in the Group B of the tournament alongside arch-rivals Pakistan, nemesis New Zealand, and rising team Afghanistan. Virat Kohli will be leading India in the marquee event and they will be starting their campaign with the high-profile battle against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Pakistan has always struggled against India in the World Cups. Whether it is T20 World Cup or 50-over World Cup, India has remained victorious in all the games. Meanwhile, after facing arch-rivals, India will lock horns with New Zealand, and so far New Zealand has been the dominant side in the ICC events against India. New Zealand defeated India in the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup, 2019 ODI World Cup, and 2021 WTC final.

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Team India is one of the strongest sides in the upcoming T20 World Cup event. As they have covered each and every aspect of the team. From top-order batters to middle-order batters and from batting all-rounders to bowling all-rounders India has figured everything out.

The strong bench strength that India has is one of the biggest positives for India heading into the tournament. Also with the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League ( IPL) 2021 taking place just before the World Cup, the big names like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, and Jasprit Bumrah are expected to take a good form in their bag. Meanwhile, legendary Indian captain MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the Indian team, he will provide much-needed experience to the team in the T20 World Cup 2021.

So far, India has won one T20 World Cup trophy, back in the inaugural edition of the World Cup in 2007 under MS Dhoni. Also, they were runner-ups in 2014, Moreover, they reached in semi-finals of the 2016 World Cup.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India’s Squad

Virat Kohli (Capt), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohd Shami.

Standby players: Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar.

Coming back to the squad, in a surprise move, Ravichandran Ashwin has been included in the team which will begin its campaign in the showpiece event against arch-rivals Pakistan. He had last played a T20I against West Indies in July 2017. Veteran former skipper MS Dhoni will be the mentor of the team. The likes of Krunal Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t find a place in the squad.

Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Ravichandran Ashwin of India. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India’s Complete Schedule

24th October 2021: India vs Pakistan, 7:30 PM, Dubai

31st October 2021 India vs New Zealand, 7:30 PM, Dubai

3rd November 2021 India vs Afghanistan, 7:30 PM, Abu Dhabi

5th November 2021 India vs B1, 7:30 PM, Dubai

8th November 2021 India vs A2, 7:30 PM Dubai

T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20I World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection. The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 is scheduled to begin on October 17, a few days after the conclusion of IPL 2021, and the final clash of the tournament will take place on November 14 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Originally, T20 World Cup 2021 was scheduled to commence in India but was shifted to UAE and OMAN besides IPL 2021 due to the Covid-19 scare in the country.

There have been a total of 8 teams that have made entry into the T20 World Cup 2021 through direct qualifications apart from the few teams battling out in the qualifying stage including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh who could not qualify directly for the Super 12 stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE and Oman.

In the already qualified teams, Group 1 consists of England, Australia, West Indies, and South Africa. On the other hand Group, 2 consists of India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan. All the teams have announced their squads for the T20 World Cup 2021. However, there have been several big names that have been left out from the 15-member squad and their absence from the main squad was a big shocker for cricket fans.

T20I World Cup 2021
T20I World Cup 2021

ICC T20 World Cup 2021: Best XI Of World Beaters Who Missed Out On Squad Selection

Alex Hales

Alex Hales
Alex Hales [Image Credit: Getty]
So far Alex Hales has managed to score 1644 runs in T20Is at a strike rate of 136.65 and 8733 runs in T20 cricket at a strike rate of 145.93. Alex Hales has got highly impressive numbers in T20I as well as T20 cricket and he bats with a massive strike rate as well.

Alex Hales was axed from England’s (eventual winners) 50-over World Cup squad in 2019 for failing a second test for use of recreational drugs. He recently enjoyed an excellent BBL campaign and continues to hold the record for the highest T20I score by an England player – 116 not out against Sri Lanka in the 2014 World T20.

The 31-year-old Alex Hales made his international debut in August 2011 through the T20I cricket. He has played 11 Tests, 70 ODIs, and 60 T20Is for England.

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)

Shikhar Dhawan missed out on the T20 World Cup 2021 squad as it shocked cricket fans as many thought that the BCCI selection committee would add him to the squad based on his healthy amount of experience and his red hot form in the IPL.

in T20Is Shikhar Dhawan has scored 1759 runs at an average and strike rate of 27.92 and 126.36. Notably, Shikhar Dhawan has been scoring 450 and above runs in IPL since 2016 and there is no doubt if Shikhar Dhawan would have been on the team for T20I World Cup 2021, he would have performed amazingly well. He was really unfortunate to miss out on selection.

Shikhar Dhawan was the captain recently of the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, playing all 6 matches on the tour. He registered scores of 86*, 29, 13 in the 3 ODIs and 46, 40, 0 in the 3 T20Is. Delhi Capitals’ batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the highest run-getter in the IPL 2021 season with 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 54.28 with 3 fifties. He was 2nd among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 16 matches averaging 44.14 with 2 tons and 4 fifties.

Faf Du Plessis

Faf du Plessis. (Twitter)
Faf du Plessis. (Twitter)

Almost every T20 World Cup 2021 squad prediction of South Africa contained the name of Faf Du Plessis. However when the squad was announced fans were left upset and shocked not to see his name in T20I World Cup 2021 squad. Notably, Faf Du Plessis on February announced his retirement from Test cricket to focus on his T20 career. Also, he is in red hot form in the ongoing Caribbean Premier League.

Faf Du Plessis has already smashed a century in the league. But he may miss a few initial IPL games in UAE for an injury he picked up in the Caribbean Premier League. The opener didn’t play any part in this season’s inaugural edition of English cricket’s new Hundred competition because of the lingering effects of a concussion suffered during the Pakistan Super League.

Faf Du Plessis was in tremendous form for CSK this season in India and scored 320 runs in 7 matches at a strike rate of 145.45 before the event got postponed due to a bio-bubble breach. He was the 3rd highest run-getter after Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul.

Ben Stokes

Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ben Stokes (Image Credit: Twitter)

Ben Stokes broke his hand taking a catch for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL 2021 and a repeat X-ray and CT scan revealed that he has a fracture of his left index finger. He missed the 2 Tests against New Zealand while his last Test came against India in March 2021.

England was forced to pick an entirely new squad of players and support staff for the ODI series against Pakistan after seven members of the party originally selected tested positive for the virus. Ben Stokes returned to the squad to captain the side. After the Covid-19 outbreak, England named a new 18 member squad captained by Ben Stokes and consisting of 9 uncapped players and still won 3-0.

Ben Stokes withdrew from the Test series against India, IPL 2021, and T20I World Cup 2021 as he has decided to ‘prioritize his mental wellbeing’.  Ben Stokes’ heroics in the final of World Cup 2019 where he scored 84 runs, helping England win their maiden 50-over World Cup title, are still fresh in every English fan’s memory. England won by boundary count after scores were tied in 50 overs and Super Over.

AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers. Image Credits: Twitter

Having initially retired from international cricket in 2018, AB de Villiers decided in May of this year that he wasn’t going to return for the T20 World Cup 2021 citing concerns about coming in ahead of players who had long been in the system.

AB de Villiers has played 114 Tests scoring 8765 runs averaging 50.66 and 228 ODIs scoring 9577 runs averaging 53.5. He also featured in 78 T20Is where he averaged a modest 26.12. In 176 IPL matches, he has 5056 runs averaging 40.77 and is 6th among the leading run-scorers in IPL history.

Chris Morris

Chris Morris
Chris Morris (Image Credit: Twitter)

The most expensive player in IPL auction history will be absent from the T20I World Cup 2021. Chris Morris hasn’t played for South Africa for two years. Chris Morris had last represented the country as a replacement for injured Anrich Nortje in the Cricket World Cup 2019 two years back and the 33-year-old hasn’t been in any contention for a spot despite veterans like Dale Steyn have retired.

Chris Morris has played in 42 One day internationals,23 T20s, and 4 tests in the South African colors taking 48, 34, and 12 wickets respectively.

Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine (Photo Credit: Twitter/ Sunil Narine)
Sunil Narine (Photo Credit: Twitter/ Sunil Narine)

Sunil Narine has been a regular in T20 franchises across the world, however, has not played for the West Indies since 2019. In February he was approached by selectors in relation to being called up to the squad for T20I World Cup 2021 and told them that he wasn’t ready to return to international cricket.

In-form batsman Sherfane Rutherford and spinner Sunil Narine were among a few players not eligible for selection to the World Cup squad after failing fitness standards. Sunil Narine, once the top-ranked spinner in the world, has recently shown versatility at the top of the order as a pinch-hitter and could have been a weapon for the team at the tournament.

Jofra Archer

Jofra Archer / AFP via Getty Images
Jofra Archer / AFP via Getty Images

Jofra Archer’s stress fracture has ruled him out of all cricket for the remainder of 2021. Already a 50-over World Cup winner, Jofra Archer’s pace and lower order hitting make him one of the most sought-after T20 players in the world.

Jofra Archer last played international cricket during the tour of India in March this year. He featured in all five T20Is before being ruled out of the one-day series. Jofra Archer was ruled out of the entire 2021 season following a recurrence of the stress fracture in his elbow. Apart from the ongoing Test series against India, Jofra Archer will also miss The Ashes and the T20I World Cup 2021.

Imran Tahir

Imran Tahir retired from ODIs after the World Cup in England last year. (Reuters Photo)
Imran Tahir retired from ODIs after the World Cup in England last year. (Reuters Photo)

Despite being one of the leading spinners on the T20 circuit, Imran Tahir has been left out of South Africa’s squad for T20 World Cup 2021. Imran Tahir has also said in the press that he hasn’t been contacted by South Africa’s selectors since being told he was in their plans for the competition last year. In March 2019, he announced that he would quit ODI cricket following the 2019 Cricket World Cup.

Imran Tahir was one of the three big omissions alongside Faf du Plessis and Chris Morris from South Africa’s squad for the T20 World Cup to be held in Oman and the UAE from October 17 to November 14. He is South Africa’s second-highest wicket-taker in T20Is with 61 wickets at an economy rate of 6.56. Imran Tahir last featured in a T20I for South Africa in March 2019.

Yuzvendra Chahal And Kuldeep Yadav

Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Yuzvendra Chahal’s exclusion from the squad was a big surprise. In the IPL and in international cricket, Yuzvendra Chahal was Virat Kohli’s, go-to man. Virat Kohli decided to stick with the leg spinner when the team management decided to bring an end to the ‘Kul-Cha’ partnership.

Rahul Chahar’s rise in recent times might also have played a role in the more experienced spinner not being picked in the XI. The Mumbai Indians leggie had a brilliant first half of the IPL in India picking up 11 wickets from his first seven games.

The UAE conditions for T20 World Cup 2021 will be helpful for him bagging a few more wickets as well. Along with Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav was also not selected in India’s T20 World Cup squad. The mystery spinner’s confidence is really down in recent times. Despite being with the side in the last two to three years, Kuldeep Yadav has not played consistent cricket.

 

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
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Shikhar Dhawan’s Omission From 2021 T20I World Cup Squad Surprised And Disappointed Farokh Engineer 

Shikhar Dhawan’s exclusion left former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer disappointed, who otherwise believes India has picked a formidable squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup. Despite Ravichandran Ashwin’s comeback and the inclusion of leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, a couple of big names like Shikhar Dhawan and Yuzvendra Chahal went missing from India’s squad of 15 for the ICC event.

The announcement of India’s T20 World Cup squad by the BCCI selectors on Wednesday packed a few surprises. Against everyone’s expectations, India recalled spinner Ravichandran Ashwin back to its limited-overs fold after four years, while former captain MS Dhoni was appointed mentor of the side.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Shikhar Dhawan’s Omission Surprised And Disappointed Farokh Engineer

There was no place for either opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan or spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, which sparked a debate. While Shikhar Dhawan is expected to have missed out to KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal fell behind fellow leg-spinner Rahul Chahar, who bowled wonderfully in Sri Lanka and has been growing in reputation. So while both exclusions were notable, Shikhar Dhawan’s axe despite being in form disappointed Farokh Engineer.

“I haven’t exactly studied it. I only heard it once. But it seems that all the top players are there. Suryakumar Yadav is in the squad, which I am really happy to see. Chahar is a very good bowler, and there is Bumrah of course. I think with Ravindra Jadeja and Rohit Sharma, the balance of the team is good. I think we’ve got a good squad,” Engineer told Sports Tak.

Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Yuzvendra Chahal & Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“Shikhar Dhawan… well, I’m surprised that he has been omitted because he has come in and done fantastically well. But that is such a huge problem for the Indian selectors that players such as Dhawan are getting to be dropped, which is a huge disappointment because he would walk into any international team as a batsman. He has proved himself time and again and I don’t think a player of his caliber should be on trial.”

The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prithvi Shaw, and Yuzvendra Chahal were some notable omissions. Shikhar Dhawan has been one of India’s most consistent players in the ICC tournaments and the selectors’ decision to not name him even among the reserves left many surprised.

While it hasn’t yet been revealed as to why the southpaw didn’t make the cut for the T20 World Cup, a report has claimed that the decision was taken keeping in mind his ‘conservative approach’ while batting. Shikhar Dhawan was a part of the Indian team that toured Sri Lanka, playing all 6 matches on the tour. He registered scores of 86*, 29, 13 in the 3 ODIs and 46, 40, 0 in the 3 T20Is.

Farokh Engineer: India Can Win T20I World Cup

Having said that, Farokh Engineer reckons the strength of the Indian team is such that the selectors couldn’t have helped it. The former wicketkeeper feels India is spoilt for choices as far as the opening batsmen are concerned, provided how brilliant KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma have been lately.

Farokh Engineer played 46 Tests for India between 1961 and 1975 Getty Images
Farokh Engineer played 46 Tests for India between 1961 and 1975 Getty Images

“But who do you drop? KL Rahul has done very well. He is superb; one of the best batsmen in the world, I think. Rohit Sharma is on top of his form. Still, I think it’s a very good team they have picked and I think we have every chance of winning the T20 World Cup,” Engineer added.

Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback after playing his last T20I in 2017. Delhi Capitals’ batsman Shikhar Dhawan is currently the highest run-getter in the IPL 2021 season with 380 runs in 8 matches averaging 54.28 with 3 fifties. He was 2nd among leading run-scorers in IPL 2020 too after KL Rahul with 618 runs in 16 matches averaging 44.14 with 2 tons and 4 fifties.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)
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‘Unorthodox’ Suryakumar Yadav Is A Completely Different Class As Compared To Shreyas Iyer, Says Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir believes Suryakumar Yadav is in a different league as a T20 batsman compared to Shreyas Iyer. Suryakumar Yadav is part of India’s 15-member squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Another middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer, on the other hand, is part of the three standbys named in India’s squad for T20I WC alongside pacers Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur.

Following a long wait, Suryakumar Yadav made an excellent start to his international career. He was the Player of the Series in the ODIs against Sri Lanka and scored a half-century in India’s win in the first T20I as well. In his brief international career, the 30-year-old middle-order batsman has played 3 ODIs where he amassed 124 runs averaging 62 and 4 T20Is where he amassed 139 runs averaging 46.33.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: ‘UnOrthodox’ Suryakumar Yadav Is A Completely Different Class As Compared To Shreyas Iyer

During a discussion on the Star Sports show Follow the Blues, Gautam Gambhir was asked about the two batsmen. The question posed was whether it was Shreyas Iyer’s injury or the range and temperament that Suryakumar Yadav has shown that has helped the latter pip the former to the post.

“Suryakumar Yadav is a completely different class as compared to Shreyas Iyer. He is much more versatile. He is much more unorthodox as well and in T20 cricket you want people who are unorthodox.”

Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)
Suryakumar Yadav plays a shot during the first one-day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18 (Photo | AP)

The former India opener added that the middle-order batsman 30-year-old Suryakumar Yadav has a full array of shots at his disposal.

“You want people who can hit that ball in different areas. He can lap you, he can late cut you, he can hit you over extra cover, he has got all the shots, especially at No.4.”

Suryakumar Yadav has set the stage alight in the four T20Is he has played for Team India. He has smashed 139 runs at a strike rate of 169.51 and has hit two fifties in three innings.

Gautam Gambhir: No. 4 Is The Most Tricky Position To Bat In T20Is

Gautam Gambhir highlighted that Suryakumar Yadav can adjust his game to the demands of the situation.

“Sometimes, No.4 is the most tricky position to bat in T20 cricket. Probably the easiest is the top three but No.4, sometimes you might be in when you have lost two early wickets and sometimes you come into the middle when you are 120/2 and then you have got to continue with that momentum. So, Surya has got both kinds of game which probably Shreyas Iyer doesn’t have,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer- Getty Images

The 39-year-old acknowledged that Shreyas Iyer having recovered recently from a serious injury, could also have played a role in his omission from the 15 member squad.

Gautam Gambhir said: “You have also got to be mindful that he is coming off a serious injury and you never know what kind of a form he would be in the second leg of the IPL as well. So, they have gone with someone who has done really well since he has got into international cricket.”

The Indian selectors could have opted to keep both Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer in the 15-man member squad, with the latter coming in at the expense of probably Ishan Kishan or a spinner. However, they may have refrained from going that route due to question marks over Shreyas Iyer’s fitness.

Shreyas Iyer has played 29 T20Is where he amassed 550 runs averaging a modest 28.94 with 3 fifties apart from 22 ODIs where he managed 813 runs averaging 42.78. His last T20I and ODI appearance came against England at home in March 2021 where he injured himself.

Ravichandran Ashwin made a comeback after playing his last T20I in 2017 while the likes of Krunal Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t find a place in the squad.

Full squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Rahul Chahar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Varun Chakravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami; Stand-by: Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Indian Batsmen Have An Opportunity To Reflect That Not All Wickets Are Going To Be Flat: Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid believes that the new crop of Indian batsmen will learn with experience that “not all wickets will be flat” and they need to develop the art of scrapping it out on low-scoring tracks like the ones on offer during the last two T20Is against Sri Lanka.

India lost the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka 1-2 on Thursday, playing without nine of their first-team players due to COVID-19 related isolation. Rookies Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana besides out of form Sanju Samson literally struggled against a quality spin bowling attack led by leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga accompanied by Akila Dhananjaya and Dhananjaya de Silva.

Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC
Wanindu Hasaranga Celebrates A Wicket in 1st T20I @SLC

Rahul Dravid: Indian Batsmen Have An Opportunity To Reflect That Not All Wickets Are Going To Be Flat

Asked if he was disappointed in the manner the younger players were found wanting against Wanindu Hasaranga and company, Rahul Dravid replied in the negative.

“I am not disappointed as they are young. They are going to learn and get better only when they are exposed to these kind of conditions and quality of bowling. Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is an international bowling attack,” Rahul Dravid said.

But the former India captain admitted that there is a lot to learn on how to play on challenging tracks, saying pitches in domestic cricket have become easier to bat as compared to his times.

“They would have liked to score a few more runs. They now have an opportunity to reflect that not all wickets are going to be flat. We need to find ways to scrap and score 130, 140 on these wickets,” Rahul Dravid observed.

“It’s really a good learning as they are all young players. This is a great opportunity to reflect on these performances and may be come up with some slightly better strategies. Let me be fair, we don’t get these kind of conditions very often in T20 cricket but when you do, I think, you have responsibility to play slightly better,” the head of NCA said.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid said even his generation had their share of struggles but he feels during their times, they did play on tracks that offered turn and some were “under-prepared.”

“I think the wickets in domestic cricket may have got better. I don’t think the talent is missing it’s just that you need experience to figure out a few more stroke making options in these kinds of pitches,” Rahul Dravid opined.

The problem with the COVID-19 isolation was the fact that except skipper Shikhar Dhawan, there wasn’t a single experienced batsman available who would have nicely blended with the youngsters in this team.

“It needs time and experience and you need to blood young players with experienced players so that you have that cushion. Obviously, last couple of games, we didn’t have that cushion, most of guys other than Shikhar were young.”

Rahul Dravid didn’t want to take names of who all are T20 World Cup aspirants while praising the Indian spin quartet of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, and Rahul Chahar.

“We have a really good crop of spinners who are coming through. Heartening to see how our four spinners performed.”

In the 3rd T20I, Sri Lanka chased down the 82-run target in the 15th over to win by 7 wickets and take the T20 series 2-1, having lost the ODIs 1-2. With India forced to play with only five specialist batsmen once again, the home side won again as they were led by the ever-impressive Wanindu Hasaranga (4-9) mixing up his leg-spins and googlies, as Sri Lanka sent India’s top-order batsmen packing, turning the powerplay (4-29) into a highly unproductive one.

Rahul Dravid Defends Sanju Samson Despite Poor Run In T20Is For The Pitch In The Last Couple Of Matches Wasn’t Easiest To Bat On

Sanju Samson, who has now failed in nine consecutive T20 matches since last year, was defended by the Indian coach. Sanju Samson’s scores in the T20I series against Sri Lanka do not paint a good picture.

For someone who was tipped to make an impact before the T20 World Cup, 34 runs in 3 matches (with two fours and a six) at a strike rate of 94.44 and an average of just 11.33, these numbers are a massive disappointment. Sanju Samson simply squandered yet another golden opportunity before the T20 World Cup in October as he struggled against the Sri Lankan attack.

“It was not the easiest pitch to bat on. In ODIs, he got a chance and scored 46. He was batting well in the first T20 but last couple of wickets (pitches) were challenging. I guess yeah, if you look back at the series, we will be a little disappointed. Having said that not only Sanju but a lot of young guys in this team are talented kids, and we need to patient with them.”

Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson dives back to stop the ball from being hit on the wicket. (AP Photo)

So far in his career, Sanju Samson‘s T20 numbers are ordinary — 117 runs in 10 games at a strike rate of 110 despite being given opportunities to bat in the top four. In his last 10 T20I innings for India, his scores read- 19, 6, 8, 2, 23, 15, 10, 27, 7, 0. Rahul Dravid was also impressed by the fact that the young team was able to live a cooped-up life in a bio-bubble for 45 days with only six matches to play.

“It’s credit to all boys in the manner they maintained their spirit and worked really hard, I can’t fault any of the boys for their effort,” Rahul Dravid said.

He praised skipper Shikhar Dhawan and his deputy Bhuvneshwar Kumar for maintaining a good team environment in difficult times.

“Shikhar, Bhuvi, the leadership group for the environment that they created and terrific energy that they created, I can’t fault them on their effort.”

However, he put things in perspective as to how playing cricket in these times of pandemic was a privilege when so many people around the world were suffering.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
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Rahul Dravid Says He Hasn’t Really Thought Of Continuing The Role Of Head Coach Further After Losing T20I Series

Rahul Dravid has given a much-awaited reply to questions about him taking up a full-time role as Team India’s head coach. Rahul Dravid said that although he has enjoyed the experience of leading the young team in Sri Lanka, he hasn’t thought about continuing it further.

Although he has successfully managed India’s under-19 and ‘A’ teams in the past, this tour was Rahul Dravid’s first assignment as a head coach of a senior international team. Given his reputed image among the cricket fraternity, it was naturally – and optimistically – seen as a stepping stone towards a full-time role.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid – K. MURALI KUMAR

Rahul Dravid Hasn’t Really Thought Of Continuing The Role Of Head Coach Further

However, the batting legend remained non-commital and simply pointed at a lot of challenges in the role.

“I have enjoyed this experience. I have not really thought of anything far ahead. To be honest with you, I am happy doing what I am doing. For me, I have not given it any other thought except this tour and getting through this tour and enjoying the experience. I love working with these guys, it’s pretty great. And no, I haven’t given it any thought really. You know, there are a lot of challenges doing a full-time role so I really don’t know,” Dravid said on Friday.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Rahul Dravid has been touted as a potential head coach ever since his retirement in 2012. However, pundits and former cricketers close to him have often suggested that the 48-year-old is reluctant to put up with the immense travel and trips away from home that comes with the job.

Even as Rahul Dravid is with one national team for the upcoming ODI and T20I series in Lanka, Ravi Shastri is currently gearing up with Virat Kohli-led India for the five-match Test series against England.  Under Ravi Shastri, India had reasonable success across formats but hasn’t ended their 8-year-long ICC-title drought.

Hence, it is believed that Rahul Dravid will be the ideal replacement, who guided India U-19 to the World Cup triumph in early 2018. After his international retirement, Rahul Dravid served as the head coach of the U-19 and India Aside from 2016-2019 before taking over his current role as the head of the National Cricket Academy (NCA).

Rahul Dravid’s First Coaching Assignment Was A Moderate Success With India Winning The ODI Series And Losing The T20I Series

The T20I series, which concluded with a 2-1 Sri Lankan win on Thursday, had also started on a positive note with a 38-run victory. However, Krunal Pandya testing positive for COVID-19 and isolation for his eight close contacts derailed the run and allowed Sri Lanka to clinch the next two games.

Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Yuzvendra Chahal, K Gowtham, and Deepak Chahar are the eight players identified as close contacts of Krunal Pandya, who tested positive for Covid-19. Although all eight tested negative for the virus, they were ruled out of the T20I series against Sri Lanka.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

India named 4 T20I debutants in Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya for the 2nd T20I match. Put into bat, India was restricted to a modest 132 for 5 with skipper Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with 40. The hosts then chased down the target with four wickets in hand and two balls to spare.

In the 3rd T20I, Shikhar Dhawan’s decision to win the toss and opt to bat in the series decider against Sri Lanka backfired as the visitors could manage a meagre 81/8 in the allotted 20 overs. Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga was the wrecker in chief with four wickets haul while Dasun Shanaka took a couple of wickets.

Shikhar Dhawan departed for a duck while the likes of IPL stars Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson, and Nitish Rana were disappointed. Kuldeep Yadav helped India get past their lowest total. India’s lowest total in T20Is is 74 which came against Australia in 2008. In the match, Sandeep Warrier received his maiden T20 cap for India.

Dhananjaya De Silva (IANS)
Dhananjaya De Silva (IANS)
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Dhananjaya de Silva Says It Is Always Tough To Play Against India After Sri Lanka Clinch 2nd T20I

Dhananjaya de Silva, Sri Lanka all-rounder exhibited the fact that clinching low-scoring T20Is is mainly about showing calm and composure rather than expressing bravado during his team’s successful 133-run chase against India at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Wednesday at a rescheduled T20I in the wake of India’s Krunal Pandya testing Covid-19 positive.

Expressing his delight in helping Sri Lanka register a rare win, the 29-year-old admitted how tough it is facing India as opponents.

Dhananjaya de Silva won the Player of the Match in the second T20I (Photo: ICC)
Dhananjaya de Silva won the Player of the Match in the second T20I (Photo: ICC)

Dhananjaya de Silva Happy To Contribute In Sri Lanka’s Win

Sri Lanka was in a spot of bother at 55 for three in the 10th over when the technically sound Dhananjaya de Silva walked out to bat. Negotiating a difficult phase of spin bowling, he batted through the innings to help the hosts level the series 1-1 against a crisis-torn India.

After bagging the Player-of-the-Match award for his 34-ball unbeaten 40, Dhananjaya de Silva said that he was happy to contribute to Sri Lanka’s winning cause.

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav Photo Credit: AP

“We were looking forward to this win. I am happy to contribute to a win for Sri Lanka. I always thought and knew it was about one big over. I decided to bat till the end. We held our nerves today. It is always tough against India,” said Dhananjaya de Silva.

Starting with their Australian tour in October 2019, Sri Lanka has played 16 T20Is, and the win over India is only their second in this 21-month timeframe. The last time they won a T20I was against the West Indies in March 2021.

Dhananjaya de Silva was the star in Sri Lanka’s win and was also the Player of the Match for his 40 not out off 34 balls. The hosts took the game to the last over to chase down a target of 133 runs. This was a game dominated by spinners from both sides.

Sri Lanka’s Akila Dhananjaya and Wanindu Hasaranga didn’t let the Indian batters get a big score and later Indian spinners dominated most parts of Sri Lanka’s chase. For India, Kuldeep Yadav was the top wicket-taker with two wickets while the rest got one wicket apiece. Varun Chakravarthy was the most economical bowler in the entire match as he gave just 18 runs in his 4 overs and took one wicket.

Sri Lanka On The Brink Of Sealing Their First Ever Bilateral T20I Series Win Against India As India Are Depleted In The 3rd T20I For Covid-19

With India’s leading players, mostly Test specialists in England for the Test series, Shikhar Dhawan was entrusted with the responsibility of leading a young side for the Sri Lanka series and did well by clinching the ODIs 2-1. The team has now received a significant setback after Krunal Pandya tested positive and eight other players who were in close contact with the all-rounder having been forcefully ruled out of the series.

Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)
Krunal Pandya. (Photo: Twitter)

With India struggling with balance as they have only four specialist batsmen available, Sri Lanka is on the brink of sealing their first-ever bilateral T20I series win over India. The sides have played seven T20I series, with India winning six and one ending in a draw. The third and final T20I, which will also be the decider T20I, will be played on Thursday, 29th July.

India, who anyway brought a replacement team to Sri Lanka, was further severely hamstrung by nine of their players having to go into isolation. They had Bhuvneshwar Kumar – a bowler who bats a bit – as high as No. 6 because they had only five recognized batters available to them.

Sri Lanka 133 for 6 (de Silva 40*, Bhanuka 36, Yadav 2-30) beat India 132 for 5 (Dhawan 40, Padikkal 29, Dananjaya 2-29) by four wickets

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Kuldeep Yadav Is Extremely Talented And A Very Thinking Bowler, Says Paras Mhambrey

Paras Mhambrey, India bowling coach — for the ongoing limited-overs series in Sri Lanka — feels spinner Kuldeep Yadav will take a lot of confidence from his performance in the ongoing series and definitely stands a chance to make it to the T20 World Cup squad that is to be played in UAE in October-November.

Before India’s second T20I against Sri Lanka, the last time Kuldeep Yadav had bowled in a T20 game was in IPL 2020, a competition in which he played only five games out of a possible 14 for the Kolkata Knight Riders. He bowled 12 overs in those five games, for one wicket only. The last time he bowled for India in a T20I was back in January 2020 against Sri Lanka. He conceded at 9.50 runs per over.

Kuldeep Yadav's bowling was particularly impressive in the second T20I given the low total India were defending Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images
Kuldeep Yadav’s bowling was particularly impressive in the second T20I given low total India were defending Ishara S.Kodikara/AFP/Getty Images

Paras Mhambrey: Kuldeep Yadav Is Extremely Talented And A Very Thinking Bowler And Should Be Credited For Executing Plans Well

Kuldeep Yadav has an extremely impressive average of 13.83 in T20Is picking up 41 scalps in 22 matches.

“Kuldeep is extremely talented and he is a very thinking bowler. It all boils down to execution and the credit needs to be given to him. It has been challenging, he has been in and out of the team. He needs to work hard to maintain his position which he is doing, and I am happy to see that.

“I am sure he will take a lot of positives from this. The T20 World Cup is around the corner, it really increases his chances to be part of the squad,”Paras Mhambrey said in the virtual post-match press conference at the end of the second T20I on Wednesday.

Paras Mhambrey
Paras Mhambrey

With Krunal Pandya testing COVID-19 positive, seven players had to isolate as close contacts and that saw India handing debuts to the likes of Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal. Paras Mhambrey said the youngsters were told to play freely without any pressure.

“You are going to be nervous when you make your debut for your country, we know that. The discussion was always to give them a free hand, there was no pressure on them. We knew that in terms of batting, we only had 5-6 batters with whom we can plan for this game.

“There were no such instructions on how to play, they (Gaikwad and Padikkal) would be disappointed but as you say every opportunity they get to represent the country, they will learn,” Paras Mhambrey said.

Commenting on Navdeep Saini’s injury status,Paras Mhambrey said: “In Navdeep’s case, the medical team is handling him, we will assess his situation maybe tonight or tomorrow morning and take a decision accordingly.

“Once the decision is finalized and conveyed to the selectors and coach, and if needed, we will make changes. We have to assess and wait till the medical team informs us.”

Navdeep Saini did not bowl a single over in the game and was taken off the field in the penultimate over of the Sri Lanka innings when he injured his shoulder while fielding at extra cover.

India named 4 T20I debutants in Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya for the 2nd T20I match. Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Deepak Chahar were the close contacts of Krunal Pandya all of whom weren’t allowed to take the field.

Paras Mhambrey: Rahul Dravid Was In Touch With The BCCI Officials

While there was some doubt on whether the match and series will go ahead after Krunal Pandya’s positive test result, the bowling coach said head coach Rahul Dravid was in constant touch with the BCCI officials.

“Actually, Rahul Dravid was in constant touch with the BCCI officials. We were told that whatever decision will be taken, we will be informed. We were prepared that we might have to go ahead and play the game. We went in with our preparations, even if the game would not have been there, we would have continued with our preparations,” Paras Mhambrey said.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

The bowling coach is also pleased with the pool of bowlers.

“Pretty happy with their performance, I have seen them in the last few years. Very pleased with the way they have progressed. I am happy in terms of the pool (seamers and spinners) we have. We have had some low-scoring and high-scoring games and in general, I am happy with the way they have played,” Paras Mhambrey said. 

Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka defeated Shikhar Dhawan-led India by 4 wickets to level the three-match series. Dhananjaya de Silva scored 40 not out off 34 balls while wicketkeeper-batsman Minod Bhanuka smashed 36 off 31 deliveries to help the hosts chase the 133-run target with 2 balls to spare.

Kuldeep Yadav returned with the figures of 2 for 30. Earlier, Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl. Indian captain Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with a 42-ball 40 as India posted 132 for 5. Ruturaj Gaikwad scored 21 off 18 balls while Devdutt Padikkal contributed with a 23-ball 29.

Paras Mhambrey
Paras Mhambrey
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Paras Mhambrey Backs Openers Ruturaj Gaikwad And Devdutt Padikkal To Do Well In 3rd T20I

Paras Mhambrey, India bowling coach has backed openers Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK in IPL) and Devdutt Padikkal (RCB in IPL) to come good in the next match, saying there is no pressure on them and the team management will give the batting duo a free hand.

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal weren’t able to convert their starts on their India debut during the second T20I against Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad were impressive as openers for RCB and CSK in IPL 2021. (Courtesy by BCCI)
Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad were impressive as openers for RCB and CSK in IPL 2021. (Courtesy by BCCI)

Paras Mhambrey Backs Openers Ruturaj Gaikwad And Devdutt Padikkal

While Ruturaj Gaikwad perished after making an 18-ball 21, Devdutt Padikkal, who walked in at number three, departed after making a quick-fire 29 off 23 balls as India lost the match by four wickets.

Asked what the team management would tell the duo, Paras Mhambrey said, “When you are going to make your debut for your country, it is always going to be nerves and we know that. The discussion is always to give them a free hand, there is no pressure on them.”

Paras Mhambrey (Getty Images)
Paras Mhambrey (Getty Images)

“Obviously the situation was such … we knew that in terms of batting, we had only five or six batsmen, that we could plan and go ahead with this game, so we focussed on those.There were no such instructions on how to play, yes they will be disappointed, but every opportunity they get to represent the country, they will learn,” he said at a virtual press conference.

For the record, two national selectors Debashish Mohanty and Abey Kuruvilla are in the island nation with the team. Put into bat, India was restricted to a modest 132 for 5 with skipper Shikhar Dhawan top-scoring with 40. The hosts then chased down the target with four wickets in hand and two balls to spare with Dhananjaya de Silva hitting a match-winning unbeaten 40.

Paras Mhambrey: Kuldeep Yadav Is A Very Thinking Bowler As He Has To Keep Working Hard To Retain His Place In Indian Squad

With Krunal Pandya testing positive for COVID-19 and subsequently eight of his close contacts put in isolation, there was a lot of uncertainty over whether the second game would go ahead or not but Paras Mhambrey said they went ahead with preparations irrespective of the decision.

“Rahul (Dravid) was constantly in touch with the BCCI officials. We were told that, see whatever decision will be taken, we will be informed, so we were ahead anyway with our preparation,” Mhambrey said.

Kuldeep Yadav seems to have found his momentum and lost form back during the ongoing Sri Lankan tour and Paras Mhambrey described the chinaman as an “extremely talented bowler” and also credited him for executing the plans to perfection.

“He (Kuldeep) is a very thinking bowler,” Paras Mhambrey said of the spinner, who claimed four wickets in three limited over games that he played during the tour.

“They are a lot of discussions we had during the period that we spend before the games together, seen the videos, discussing on the plans, and it all boils down to execution. And so, the credit should be given to him.”Paras Mhambrey said Kuldeep will have to keep working hard to retain his place in the squad.
Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav Photo Credit: AP

“…he is in and out of the team for a while now, which he knows, he also knows that he needs to work hard to maintain his position which he is doing, so happy to see that,” he said.

“And I’m very happy with the results that he is getting. I am sure he will take a lot of positives from this since the T20 World Cup is also around the corner, and it really increases his chances to be part of the squad.”

The former India pacer, who has seen the journey of many youngsters from this team as the bowling coach of the India A squad, also expressed happiness over their progress.

“Pretty happy with their performance and I have seen them in the past in the last few years when I was associated with them, they have been part of the India A set up for a while and very pleased with the way they have progressed. They definitely had a lot of potentials and that is the reason, they are representing the country.”
Sri Lanka defeated India in the second Twenty20 International by four wickets to level series 1-1. Chasing 133 to win, Dhanajaya de Silva made an unbeaten 40 while Minod Bhanuka scored 36 in Sri Lanka’s reply. Indian leg spinner Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets.
Earlier, a depleted Covid-19-hit India struggled for momentum against the Sri Lankan spinners on a sluggish track, managing 132/5 for five in the second Twenty20 International.
Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Opens Up On India’s Complacency In The 3rd ODI Against Sri Lanka By Making 6 Changes

Aakash Chopra, a former Team India batsman has opined that the visitors displayed a sense of complacency by making wholesale changes to the team for the third ODI against Sri Lanka on Friday.

India made as many as six changes to the team for the final ODI, handing out debuts to five players. The visitors struggled with the bat after a positive start and ended up losing the match by three wickets.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Complacency Is The Mindset When 6 Changes Are Made

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra stated that Team India, perhaps, took the dead rubber a little too lightly. Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kuldeep Yadav were the players who were left out of the playing XI with the series already in the bag.

“When you make six changes to your team, complacency is the mindset. It seemed Team India took Sri Lanka a bit lightly in the third ODI, having already won the series. Although the match was important for the debutants, collectively the group seemed to believe that ‘we will win the game easily as Sri Lanka are a weak side.’ But there is a lesson for Team India in the defeat – do not take any opponent lightly.”

India started well after winning the toss and opting to bat first but completely lost their way after the rain break. They were all-out for 225 in 43.1 overs as Akila Dananjaya and Praveen Jayawickrama picked up three wickets apiece for the hosts. Sri Lanka got home in the rain-curtailed encounter by three wickets courtesy half-centuries from Avishka Fernando (76) and Bhanuka Rajapaksa (65).

 Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)
Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Sanju Samson, and Chetan Sakariya are making their ODI debuts for India (Courtesy of BCCI)

According to Aakash Chopra, India’s tactics for the final ODI lacked planning, the result of which saw Nitish Rana bat at No. 7 on debut instead of his usual top 3 spot.

“India made six changes, included five debutants and changed the entire bowling line-up. Not a single bowler from the previous game played in the third ODI. Also in the batting, India gave a chance to Nitish Rana but he batted at No. 7 on debut. Here is a player who has batted in the Top 3 all his life – whether IPL, Delhi or List A cricket.”

India handed debuts to as many as 5 players in the inconsequential third ODI against Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, and Krishnappa Gowtham were handed their maiden ODI caps just before the toss while Navdeep Saini has also been named in the team.

This is only the second time that India is fielding five debutants in an ODI, since their inaugural match. It was in Australia at the MCG in December 1980, when Dilip Doshi, Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Sandeep Patil, and Tirumalai Srinivasan made their debuts.

Aakash Chopra: Resting Kuldeep Yadav And Deepak Chahar Made Little Sense

Aakash Chopra added that ‘resting’ bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav and Deepak Chahar made little sense. He pointed out that Kuldeep Yadav is trying to work his way back into the Indian team while Deepak Chahar has only played a few matches in international cricket.

Deepak Chahar smashed an unbeaten 69 and strung together an unbroken 84-run partnership for the eighth wicket with Bhuvneshwar Kumar who scored 19* to help India register an improbable three-wicket win successfully chasing 276 in the second ODI against Sri Lanka despite being 193/7 at one stage.

“What was the bowlers’ fault? Kuldeep Yadav is not going to play in the T20Is, so why wasn’t he retained? Navdeep Saini and Chetan Sakariya got a chance but there was no logic behind resting Deepak Chahar. It is not that he had played a lot of ODIs. One can understand when you rest a player who has played a lot of matches like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah or Mohammed Shami. But Chahar has only just started playing for India.”

Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar's 8th wicket partnership saw India home in the 2nd ODI vs Sri Lanka (BCCI)
Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Image Credits: BCCI

“Chahar must be wondering why he was ‘rested’. He was the man of the match in the previous game. So he deserved another opportunity. The pacer was another big positive for Team India.

“He picked up two wickets each in the first two games and that too with the old ball. He also scored an unbeaten 69, which almost single-handedly won Team India the second match. Unless he was unfit, he should have played,” Aakash Chopra added.

Sri Lanka on the other hand made three changes with Praveen Jayawickrama, Akila Dananjaya, and Ramesh Mendis coming into their playing XI. India and Sri Lanka will now battle it out in the three-match T20I series, which starts on Sunday, July 25 in Colombo.
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