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Although it’s not their predominant staff, India’s Sri Lanka sojourn, which begins with the primary ODI in Colombo on Sunday, assumes appreciable significance. Not solely will this be India’s solely white-ball task earlier than the T20 World Cup in October, but additionally as a result of there are gamers on this staff, who’re at attention-grabbing levels of their respective careers. A lot will depend upon how the coach Rahul Dravid shepherds this motley bunch into maximising their potential over the course of those six video games (three ODIs and three T20s). In that vein, this sequence in opposition to the not-so-fancied opponents might be seen as an audition for the big-ticket ICC occasion.

Can Dravid pull Kuldeep Yadav out of his present disaster? The chinaman bowler, who copped criticism for the shortage of tempo by means of the air, was taken to the cleaners by England’s rampaging batsmen within the limited-overs sequence lately. Down within the pecking order throughout codecs, Kuldeep has lower a forlorn determine in current instances, struggling to discover a spot in his IPL franchise — Kolkata Knight Riders. This sequence might effectively be Kuldeep’s final shot at redemption. Bhuvneshwar, nonetheless, jumped to his teammate’s defence. “I’m certain if he does effectively on this sequence, he might be assured of doing effectively. What I all the time take a look at is how he’s bowling and the execution. It’s about confidence. He’s bowling effectively within the nets, am certain he’ll decide wickets,” he stated.

Regardless of being an everyday in India’s white-ball set-up within the final 4 years, Yuzvendra Chahal faces the warmth from Rahul Chahar. The Mumbai Indians spinner prised 11 scalps from seven video games on this IPL. Compared, Chahal might solely muster 4 scalps from seven outings.

Comeback man

The most important problem for Dravid could be in serving to Manish Pandey take advantage of his umpteenth comeback in worldwide cricket. In current instances, Pandey has been battling accidents after getting snubbed from BCCI’s annual contracts. The dashing stroke-maker, who has featured in 26 video games unfold throughout 5 years, and scuttled round within the batting order, must bat out of his pores and skin to ebook a spot in a crowded middle-order that has incumbents like Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav.

Like Kuldeep, Krunal Pandya’s street to the UAE seems arduous. It’s not as a consequence of his lack of type, however as a result of he doesn’t stand an opportunity of upstaging a participant of Ravindra Jadeja’s calibre.

The core group contains captain Shikhar Dhawan, his deputy Bhuvneshwar Kumar, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal. Solely Hardik and Bhuvneshwar are certainties for the showpiece occasion. So much might be using on Dhawan. There’s an intense debate over who will companion Rohit Sharma within the T20 World Cup. KL Rahul has staked his declare, so has Ishan Kishan, following his blistering knocks for Mumbai Indians within the IPL. To compound issues, captain Virat Kohli has additionally expressed his want to companion Rohit. A lacklustre sequence in Sri Lanka might doubtlessly shut the doorways on Dhawan, whilst Shaw, who has been in sensational type, bludgeoning 308 runs within the truncated IPL, could possibly be again in rivalry.

Eye on the long run

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Ok. Gowtham, and Chetan Sakariya are among the many 5 uncapped gamers to obtain a name for this sequence primarily based on the performances of the final two editions of the IPL. These debutants could discover it troublesome to interrupt into the nationwide staff at present, however the selectors have picked them for his or her apparent expertise and with an eye fixed on the long run. Padikkal, Gaikwad, and Rana have been in eye-catching batting type in IPL and Record-A fixtures, whereas left-arm seamer Chetan Sakariya justified his plum Rs 1.2 crore IPL price-tag by accounting for the scalps of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni.

Throughout an unique interplay with The Indian Categorical a fortnight in the past, Prithvi Shaw might barely conceal his pleasure when requested concerning the prospect of sharing the dressing-room with Dravid. “There’s a completely different type of mazaa (enjoyment) taking part in below Rahul sir. One will anticipate self-discipline within the dressing room. I’m waiting for the observe classes with him as a result of I really like to talk to him for hours. This tour, I simply should seize the chance,” he stated. Shaw’s feedback not solely present a peek into his present mindset but additionally establishes the influence Dravid has had on younger, impressionable cricketers. “Hopefully, folks will get the chance to place in some actually good performances within the course of and provides themselves one of the best likelihood of knocking on the selectors’ doorways,” Dravid has stated.



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