Colombo: There are six uncapped players in the Indian squad currently in Sri Lanka. It may seem that India have come with an inexperienced group for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka. However, tour vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar has said it is not the case. He said that the entire new lot has the requisite confidence thanks to IPL. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is of the opinion that some of these players may become household names once the tour ends.
Major stars like skipper Virat Kohli and his limited-overs deputy Rohit Sharma are in England for an upcoming Test series. The Indian team for series against Sri Lanka is being led by opener Shikhar Dhawan and features half a dozen uncapped players. Among them are Devdutt Padikkal, Chetan Sakaria, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Varun Chakravarthy.
“We have good players and they have experience of IPL. They are young but they have experience of playing T20 for many years. They have done well for their teams,” Bhuvneshwar said during a TV programme aired Monday.
“So, it will be beneficial for the team that they will carry the confidence of IPL. They are young and talented, there is a good mix with the experienced players and this will be a good tour. Young players who have come for their first tour did so after doing well in IPL. So if they do well here then it will be great for their confidence,” added Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The senior pacer had suffered a thigh muscle injury during last year’s IPL. It ruled him out of the league as well as the tour of Australia. The bowler made a return to the national squad after a long injury lay-off in the limited-overs home series against England in March. He said playing domestic cricket helped him stay motivated.
“When I was almost recovered, domestic cricket was going on as well. So my focus was to get fit and make a comeback. Then I started the preparations for the match,” he said.
“Before the England series, I played domestic cricket. It helped me get the required match practice. One shouldn’t take things lightly, while playing domestic cricket. It kept me motivated to play for India and to stay fit,” added the pacer.
The India-Sri Lanka series was originally slated to begin with the three ODIs the first of which was scheduled for July 13. However, it had to be rescheduled after the home team’s batting coach Grant Flower and data analyst GT Niroshan tested positive for the dreaded virus on their return from the UK tour.
The engagement, which comprises three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals, will now start July 18.