Euro 2020 Special

Chetan Sakariya to Rana: Surprise Picks for Sri Lanka Tour

Recently, it was confirmed that Rahul Dravid would be the head coach of the Indian team travelling to Sri Lanka in July for three T20Is and three ODIs. The Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian side has a few expected names alongside some that raise eyebrows immediately. It is clear that the selectors have rewarded top performances in the Indian T20 League 2021 as people like Chetan Sakariya and Nitish Rana have got their maiden national team call up owing to their stellar performances in the tournament.

Let’s look at four such players whose inclusion has come like a surprise ahead of the Sri Lankan tour. 



The left arm pacer from Gujarat, Chetan Sakariya had a dream start in the 2021 Indian T20 League. He was one of the standout uncapped domestic bowlers in the competition and has rightly been given an opportunity to show his talent at the international level. In seven matches, Sakariya picked up seven wickets for Team Rajasthan which included some high profile players like MS Dhon. Sakariya can swing the new ball as well as mix it up in the middle overs with some cunning slower deliveries. His bowling style seems well suited for Sri Lankan pitches and if given a chance he should do well on this tour. 



After being picked for a whopping 9.25 crore in the 2021 auction by Team Chennai, people expected K Gowtham to be one of the mainstays in the Chennai lineup, but the Indian all-rounder didn’t make the XI even for a single game in the 2021 edition. So his inclusion in the Indian squad is one of the biggest surprises. He bowls some decent off-spin and can be lethal with the bat at the back end of an innings. He is the only off-spinning all-rounder in the squad and if the opposition decides to field an XI dominated by left-handers, Gowtham becomes a natural choice in the Indian team.



After a breakthrough season in the Indian T20 League in 2020, big things were expected from Team Chennai’s opening batter, Ruturaj Gaikwad. In the 2021 edition, Gaikwad struggled to make an impact in the initial few games and it seemed like his spot was under the scanner as Chennai had Robin Uthappa waiting in the wings for the opening spot. As soon as the team moved bases to Delhi, Gaikwad showed his class and struck some form. He ended the tournament with a couple of fifties and earned his place in the Indian squad as well. 



The left-handed batter from Delhi, Nitish Rana has been a vital member of the Team Kolkata set up for some years now. He was deployed mainly as a middle-order batter but now has been promoted to the role of a dashing opener alongside the cool and composed Shubman Gill. Rana started the 2021 edition with a bang as he struck two fifties in the early part of the tournament. After a dazzling start, the southpaw lost his form in the middle phase of the tournament for which even the team suffered. Rana can also bowl some handy part-time off-spin and captain Dhawan would have a trusted lieutenant next to him in Rana, as the duo has played plenty of domestic cricket together for Delhi. 

Read: What Makes James Anderson So Consistent?




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