18/05/2018 Community Activities
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Rarely has an Indian team been so set and clear in its ways in recent times as the current lot. Led by the mercurial Virat Kohli, India are currently the top ranked team in ICC ODI Rankings and are not doing too badly in the T20 format either. The team selections are often predictable and every player knows his role and responsibility in the team.
In such a scenario, the fringe domestic players have no other way but to wait in the wings and hope for an opportunity to play for India. One such outing has emerged in the upcoming Nidahas Trophy, which will be played as a T20I tri-series between hosts Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh.
After a hectic and grueling tour of South Africa, the national selectors have decided to give a much-needed break to established pros like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav, which in turn has turned into a golden opportunity for young players like Rishabh Pant, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar and Vijay Shankar, who have all been named in the Indian squad for the Nidahas Trophy.
In his column for Times of India, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar also acknowledged the same and wrote: "India have decided to rest their star players after the arduous South Africa tour and this gives an opportunity to some young players to show their mettle in the T20 tri-series and prove that they are ready for international cricket. These players have done well in the ongoing domestic limited overs games and won't be short of experience either as they play in the IPL too.
"The selectors clearly have an eye not just on the 2019 ICC World Cup in England but beyond as some senior players may well want to retire from the international scene then," he further added.
The legendary former opening batsman also penned his views on Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - India's two opponents in the Nidahas Trophy. Gavaskar said that the embattled Sri Lankans have started to look like a good team again. "The hosts Sri Lanka have been brilliant ever since Chandika Hathurusingha has taken over as the coach and on the recent trip to Bangladesh they won all three formats but were especially devastating in the T20 series," he wrote.
As regards to Bangladesh's chances in the tri-series, Gavaskar wrote: "Bangladesh too have upped their game especially after the Bangladesh Premier League where they not only got more T20 experience but the huge plus of their players sharing the dressing room with some of the world's best players and learning from them. They play fearlessly now and are capable of beating any team particularly in this format."
In the concluding paragraph, the cricketer-turner-commentator said that the Nidahas Trophy is likely to be an absorbing event as most T20 matches usually are. He also added that on the flat pitches of the Emerald Isle in the island nation, it could well be the batsmen who will be the pace setters and game changers.
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