4 Indians Who’d Want to Impress Selectors in T20 Series vs WI
In the tour-opening T20I series, here are four Indian cricketers who will look to cement their place in the side.
After months of planning, prepping, grouping and regrouping in the run-up to the tournament, the Indian cricket team suffered a shocking loss to New Zealand in the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup on 10 July.
Just eleven days later, the Indian selectors announced the squad for their next assignment – a tour against West Indies in the USA and the Carribean. And, unsurprisingly, quite a few changes were made.
Remember, it was late last year when India failed to win three back-to-back series – drawing with Australia in Australia, and then losing to the Kiwis in New Zealand and Australia at home.
Besides, with the World T20 in October 2020 being the next major ICC tournament, a shuffle in the squad of the shortest format, and a need to bring in some young talent was the need of the hour. So as Virat Kohli & Co seek redemption in the tour-opening T20I series, here are the four Indian cricketers who will look to cement their place in the side.
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1. Navdeep Saini
Part of the first-class set-up since 2013, Delhi pacer Navdeep Saini is now only a step away from making his international debut. The 26-year-old, who plays for the Virat-led Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, made his way into the squad on the back of his impressive performance during the India A tour of West Indies.
He started his campaign with a fifer in the second unofficial ODI at North Sound, helping bowl the home team out for 190 in 43.5 overs, and as a result, handing India A a 65-run win. He finished with eight wickets in four games.
Saini was also called to England as a net bowler for India during their World Cup campaign, and was also named as one of the stand-bys. With Jasprit Bumrah rested for the entire tour, Saini found his place into both the shorter format squads.
2. Deepak Chahar
Another young Indian pacer inducted into the T20I squad, who was also a standby for India at the World Cup, is Deepak Chahar.
Chahar came into India’s scheme of things after his performance for Chennai Super Kings in the 2018 Indian Premier League. Under the guidance of his captain MS Dhoni, the 26-year-old picked up ten wickets in 12 innings, while bowling both opening spells and at the death.
Subsequently, he was handed his ODI and T20I caps – playing just one game in both formats. In the T20I against England at Bristol and the ODI against Afghanistan at Dubai, he bowled four overs each and picked one wicket apiece.
3. Rahul Chahar
There’s another Chahar featuring in this squad this time – Deepak’s 19-year-old cousin Rahul. The teenage leg-spinner, who made his first-class debut in 2016, earned himself a place in the T20I squad for the Windies series due to his recent exploits with the India A team and before that, the IPL.
Against Sri Lanka A at home, Rahul returned with figures of 4/78 and 4/45 in the first unofficial Test and followed it up with a six-wicket haul in the second game, where he also put up scores of 84 and 21. He played three of India A’s five unofficial ODIs against Windies, picking up a total of six wickets – two in each game.
With Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal rested for the series, Rahul – who turns 20 this 4 August – is likely to find a place in the XI.
4. Washington Sundar
Another young spinner in the side for the T20I series is Washington Sundar. The 19-year-old, however, is no new name in India's set-up in the shortest format. Since making his international debut in December 2017, the bowler from Tamil Nadu has played seven T20Is and picked up ten scalps in them. He also played his first ODI as an injury replacement for Kedar Jadhav in the same tour.
After a not-so successful IPL season with RCB, Sundar has played nine games for the India A side. In the six unofficial ODIs against Sri Lanka, he managed to pick up just one wicket. However in the three one-dayers he played against Windies A, Sundar returned with 2/37, 1/27, 1/54 – also scoring a 45 in the last game.
If picked in the playing eleven for the upcoming rubber, Sundar would need a stand-out performance (or few), to make sure that the selectors continue to keep him in the scheme of things.
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