Predicted the second-string Indian squad for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka
There are no clues that Asia Cup might happen this year. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has already postponed the cash-rich contest due to the Covid-19 pandemic and are looking to host the remaining games in the September window.
Meanwhile, the official announcement for Asia Cup is not released yet, but it can be hosted by Sri Lanka at the end of June. If Asia Cup happens BCCI can't take the risk on their players as they have a busy schedule in England.
They already announced the squad for the England tour including the World Test Championship Finals against New Zealand. Besides, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCK) Ehsan Mani has already shared a few words about the Asia Cup tournament.
According to him, it might be scheduled to 2023 if India gets qualified for the WTC Finals which is organized to play at The Southampton in England.
BCCI to send a second-string squad to Sri Lanka:
The chances of the postponement of the Asia Cup is very low as the WTC Final is scheduled to play on June 18-22. The tournament is expected to start at the end of the same month in Sri Lanka.
If it happens, the Indian Team has to undergo mandatory 7-day quarantine before getting into the league. BCCI can't give much workload to their players and have stated that they will send a second-string squad to Sri Lanka.
According to the recent reports, BCCI has said "There’s no other choice. We can’t risk the preparation for the series in England. And cricketers can’t twice undergo quarantine. If the Asia Cup happens, India will have no option but to send a second-string squad."
So, the second-string team will be a younger side as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and a few more will be busy in the England tour which is going to start in August.
Predicting India's second-string squad for the Sri Lanka tour:
Shikhar Dhawan (C)
Shikhar Dhawan is one of the finest openers in the limited-overs format and has good numbers in the top-order.
In the recently concluded IPL, Dhawan has been in really good form and has scored 380 runs from 8 games that he played at an average of around 55 including three fifties to his name. Considering his form, Dhawan will be the first option for BCCI for the Sri Lanka tour.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the lead bowler for India ahead of the tour. He has a lot of experience in his pocket which he showed in the England tour of India.
Before getting into the squad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been out of action due to his injury in IPL 2020. He was remarkable in the ODI and T20I series against England and once again proved his worth with the ball.
The flamboyant Baroda all-rounder is a dangerous batsman when it comes to limited-overs cricket. He is a complete T20 batsman who has the ability to go through any best bowling line-up in the death overs of the game.
However, he is struggling to score runs with the bat since the start of the IPL 2021. Moreover, he has been not selected by BCCI for the England tour.
A new bowler on the list named Shivam Sharma has impressed everyone in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021. During the tournament, he played 8 matches and scalped 21 wickets including two five-wicket hauls to his name.
Navdeep Saini is one of those pacers who has the ability to clock 140+ kmph off every delivery he bowls. But he didn't get enough chances in Royal Challengers Bangalore as Mohammed Siraj looked in a very good flow with the ball. Navdeep Saini will be looking to show his best if he gets into the team.
The left-arm chinaman is one of the regular names on the cards during MSD's captaincy. After the departure of Dhoni, Kuldeep Yadav had warmed the bench on many occasions and also went expensive with the ball.
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In the 14th edition of IPL, Kuldeep Yadav warmed the bench throughout the first half of the competition.
Kedar Jadhav was bought by Sunrisers Hyderabad after Chennai Super Kings dropped him from the squad. After that, the latter showed some top-class performance in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 where he scored 195 runs in five matches that he played at an average of around 49.
The left-handed batsman has the ability to give a flying start to the innings. He could be a better option in the place of Shikhar Dhawan if he gets injured during the competition.
Moreover, the left-handed batsman has scored his maiden IPL century against Rajasthan as he achieved this feat in just 51 deliveries.
Likewise, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal was also a regular name of the cards of the Indian line-up. But both the bowlers were struggling a lot to take wickets in the limited-overs format.
In IPL 2021, he has been a little bit expensive with the ball and has bagged only 4 wickets from seven games.
Ishan Kishan (wk)
Ishan Kishan is an explosive batsman who has the ability to accelerate the run-rate in the middle overs of the game. But, the left-handed batsman has struggled a lot on the Chennai pitch as it is a slower one.
He managed to get only 73 runs from five games with a poor average and strike rate of 14.62 and 82.90. As a result, he was dropped from the team led by Rohit Sharma.
Another opener from Delhi Capitals has made it on the list. Prithvi Shaw is in the red hot form which he showcased in the first leg of the IPL 2021.
During the tournament, Prithvi Shaw has piled up 308 runs in eight games that he played at an average of38.52 and has a staggering strike rate of well above 166. He will be a good option to open the innings for India.
Rahul Chahar is the cousin of Deepak Chahar who plays for Chennai Super Kings. Rahul Chahar was the leading wicket-taker for Mumbai Indians in the 14th edition of IPL as he plucked 11 wickets from his 7 outings at an impressive average of 15.25. He will be the first choice spinner for India in the Sri Lanka tour.
Sanju Samson (wk)
The new skipper of the Rajasthan Royals franchise has arrived in his style in the first game for his side. He scored his first IPL ton as captain in the game Rahul-led Punjab Kings.
His efforts went in vain as the Punjab-based side won the game in the last ball thriller. Sanju Samson will be the first choice wicket-keeper batsman as he has some experience in white-ball cricket.
Narayan Jagadeesan will be a backup option for both Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan. The Tamil Nadu-based cricketer is a good batsman and has played 35 T20s and scored 702 runs that he played at an average of 35.11.
Shreyas Iyer has the ability to lead the young Indian side if he is in good condition with his health. He suffered an injury during the first ODI against England and also been ruled out of the IPL 2021. He might struggle with the bat as he has been out of action for several months.
The leading pacer of Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings will be a very good option for BCCI and Team India. He will give the expected support from the other end for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and can give the breakthrough at regular intervals.
Deepak Chahar has been decent with the ball and scalped 8 wickets from seven games including two 4 wicket-hauls to his name.
Rahul Tewatia grabbed the headlines when he smashed 5 sixes off Sheldon Cottrell's spell against then Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings).
After that, he was added to the T20I series England but failed to clear the fitness tests. In IPL 2021, the latter didn't live up to the marks of the fans.
Another player from Tamil Nadu joins the list. T Natarajan is an upcoming bowling sensation like Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini.
He has the ability to bowl toe-crushing yorkers in both powerplay and slog overs of the game. Moreover, he will be a good third bowling option for Team India along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar.
The Haryana-born pacer has been in sensational form with the ball since the start of the 14th edition of the Indian Premier League. He is the leading wicket-taker of the tournament who has scalped 17 wickets from 7 games to his bag.
However, his likes didn't impress Ravindra Jadeja who smashed 30 runs of his final over during the Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore match.
The squad is incomplete with Suryakumar Yadav in it. He is a very talented cricketer and has capable of scoring runs in any kind of situation in the game. Moreover, he announced his arrival in the international arena by sending the fierce Jofra Archer's dangerous delivery to the stands. He will be definitely in the line-up which can give a lot of confidence to the Indian Team.