3 possible debutants for India in the Sri Lanka ODIs | Looking at 3 players who could make their ODI debut for India against Sri Lanka
The inexperienced Indian brigade is in Sri Lanka for a white-ball series comprising three ODIs and as many T20Is, starting 18 and 25 July respectively.
With senior players in the UK for the high-profile Test series against England, the second-string Indian team led by Shikhar Dhawan will face the Lankan challenge. The 20-member Indian squad includes as many as six uncapped players who have been selected in the absence of numerous first-choice players.
This series will provide the young cricketers with the stage to impress the national selectors and management ahead of the T20 World Cup in UAE.
ICC Super League points will be up for grabs in the upcoming ODI series, so there is additional motivation for the India players to perform. The Indian team management has already made it clear that the men in blue will be looking to win all the games they will play in Sri Lanka. Starting with the One-day series, the spotlight will be on the talented uncapped players who will be looking to make the most of the given opportunities in the series. We look at three Indian players who can make their debut for India in the ODI series:
The left-hander has made a name for himself by consistently performing well for Delhi in domestic tournaments and also for Kolkata in the IPL. Rana has shown his class and pedigree with the bat, and in the past few seasons has been on the verge of getting a national call, which many believe he should’ve gotten earlier.
The 27-year-old got his fame mainly from the IPL, but his List A record is much better than his IPL and overall T20 record. In 60 List A games, Rana averages 40.4 for his 1940 runs at a strike rate of 84.8. In this year’s domestic one-day competition (Vijay Hazare Trophy), Rana was the top-run getter for Delhi with 398 runs in seven matches at an average of 66.33. With the ability to play spin and seam equally well, Rana can be a perfect bid in India’s new-look middle order in the coming 50-over games.
Unlike many players in the squad, Gowtham didn’t get a single game in the first phase of IPL 2021, which is why his selection raised questions over the criteria of the selections. The Karnataka all-rounder has impressive numbers in List A cricket with the ball. In 47 games, he has bagged 70 wickets at an economy rate of under 5 runs per over.
In addition to picking up wickets, he bats well down the order. He has shown that he can tonk the ball a long way and his career strike rate of over 140 in List A cricket suggests exactly that.
India’s main focus will be centered around the T20 series. Knowing the relevance of the T20 World Cup and India’s first choice pool of players in this format, it is most likely that if Gowtham plays he will get his chance with the one day team. The plus point of Gowtham is that he has got the control while bowling with the new ball and in typical subcontinent conditions in Sri Lanka, you need your slow bowlers to bowl the crucial overs and make use of the conditions.
Ruturaj often takes his time at the start of his innings, opposite to Sehwag’s approach. He has a measured approach to his game. Even in T20 cricket, he takes a few overs to settle in and the 50-over format gives you a lot of time as a top-order batsman.
Gaikwad, who has been a consistent run-scorer for India A and Maharashtra, has scored 2,681 runs at an average and strike rate of 47.87 and 97.59 respectively in his four-year-long List A career. In 58 innings, the right-handed batsman has scored seven centuries and 16 half-centuries.
He also looked quite good in the intra-squad practice game a few days back. If he somehow managed to catch coach Rahul Dravid’s eyes, then we might see him wearing the blue jersey soon. The Indian team is traveling with too many top-order players, but the experience of playing with India A certainly pushes his case ahead of the other possible debutants.
Written by Vaibhav Tripathi. Follow Vaibhav on Twitter today.