A second-stringed Team India has been doing more than a decent job in the ongoing Sri Lanka tour. After clinching the ODI series 2-1, the visiting team came up with a phenomenal 38-run win in the first T20I. However, the going might not be that smooth for India in the remaining two T20Is with the participation of several players came under immense scrutiny. All-rounder Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 and got ruled out of the entire series.
Furthermore, eight players were identified close to the southpaw, and subsequently, they also underwent RT-PCR tests. Fortunately, no other member of the Indian team seems to have contacted the virus besides Krunal. However, this doesn’t end Team India’s problems. It is learned that those eight players won’t feature in the second T20I on Wednesday (July 28) due to safety concerns. This means nine players from the squad won’t be available for the upcoming game.
While any official announcement is yet to come, Sports Tak reported the names of those eight players close to Krunal. They are Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey. Except for Pandey and Gowtham, all the players participated in the first T20I. This means India will be undergoing minimum of seven changes if these names are unavailable.
In that case, it would be interesting to see how India’s playing XI looks. Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, and Nitish Rana seem to be the only batsmen remaining in the squad and they would be sure starters. This means India would be forced to field seven bowlers. Hence, the tale would be exposed if the third wicket falls.
Vice-captain of the original squad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will have to lead the team in this case and he’ll have a job at hand. Besides bowling a spectacular spell, Bhuvneshwar will also have to score runs with his bat with the chance of batting at number five or six. Deepak Chahar will also have the onus to shine with the bat. Although he played a match-winning 69-run knock in the ODI series, batting in the top six would be a different challenge.
The remaining slots will be occupied by Kuldeep Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini, and Varun Chakravarthy. This bowling line-up is certainly good enough to keep the Lankan Lions at bay. However, but don’t seem to have the capacity of compensating for the dented batting line-up.
India’s Probable playing XI with the remaining squad: Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson (WK), Nitish Rana, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (C), Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini