The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced a squad of young and promising players led by the experienced Shikhar Dhawan for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka next month. There is a total of six new entries into the squad as the likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Chetan Sakariya, K Gowtham, and Varun Chakravarthy.
In the absence of the likes of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja among many others, BCCI had to name a completely different side for the tour of Sri Lanka where both sides will play in three ODIs and three T20Is.
Along with the 20 players, the selection committee has also named five players as net blowers, as has become a routine in the post-COVID-19 world. Fast bowlers Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Simrajeet Singh the left-arm Tamil Nadu spinner R Sai Kishore will travel with the side as net bowlers.
However, there are few names, which were expected to be announced in the squad for the Sri Lanka tour but failed to make it. Hence, in this article, we will look at the three players who deserved a chance in the squad for the SL tour.
1. Ravi Bishnoi
Ravi Bishnoi, who provides his services for Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League has been the one to notice every year. He has performed so well in the last two seasons of the tournament. He is not just a brilliant bowler but also an amazing fielder. The kind of catches he grabbed in the first phase of the IPL 2021, he has impressed many and was expected to be a part of the India squad.
While it was difficult for Bishnoi to break into the Indian team given their spin resources at the moment, he was expected to be named as a death bowler. Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh are the net bowlers selected for the Sri Lanka tour.
Talking about his stats, Bishnoi gas claimed 16 wickets in 18 matches for Punjab Kings at an excellent economy rate of 7.09. Bishnoi also was the leading wicket-taker in the 2020 Under-19 Cricket World Cup.
The only thing working in his favor is his age that he is just 20-years-old with plenty of cricket left in him. However, the Sri Lanka tour could have been an excellent opportunity for the youngster to cement a spot in the side. Nevertheless, he will have the chance to prove his worth in the upcoming phase 2 of the IPL.
2. Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel has seen the best of him in the first phase of the Indian Premier League 2021. He gained a lot of spotlight in IPL 2021 in the opening encounter against Mumbai Indians as he picked the first five-wicket haul in the tournament. Ever since that brilliant outing, Harshal Patel didn’t look back.
When IPL 2021 came to a standstill, Harshal Patel was leading the Purple Cap race with 17 wickets in 7 matches. He holds an astonishing first-class record as well. Playing for Haryana, he has scalped 226 wickets at an average of 23.56 in 64 FC matches. Considering the form Patel is in, his exclusion from the squad raises many eyebrows in the cricket fraternity.
3. Sheldon Jackson
Jackson has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit, scoring over 800 runs in the last two Ranji Trophy seasons. With 5,634 runs in 76 First-Class matches at an average of 49.22, Jackson is among the top players in the Indian domestic circuit. Yet, the elusive India call-up has been evading him.
In a recent interview, the 34-year-old Jackson had lashed out at selectors for ignoring him even though he has been a consistent performer on the domestic circuit.
“I’m 34. If I’m performing well, better than a 22-23-year-old, where is it written in the laws of the game that you’re not eligible to get picked for the national team? Who are those people judging you, and on ability are they judging you? By Ranji score? Fitness?
If you’re scoring 800-900 runs consistently for two-three seasons, it means you have to be fit. Or you won’t be able to sustain it. So how can you be judged? Many times I hear that ‘he’s above 30’. Where is it written that you can’t be picked? And who are these people who are taking away your right from you?” Jackson had told CricketNext.