There were quite a few surprises in the team as some expected names missed out while some new players received their maiden call-up. Chetan Sakariya, Krishnappa Gowtham, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, and Ruturaj Gaikwad are just one step away from making their international debut.
Shikhar Dhawan will lead the Indian cricket team for the first time while Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy.
Three batsmen have returned to the Indian cricket team
Since most regular white-ball players were unavailable for the Sri Lankan tour because of the upcoming England Test series, the selectors gave another opportunity to players who had lost their place in the Indian cricket team. Here's a look at those three players.
1. Prithvi Shaw
Opening batsman Prithvi Shaw was in the form of his life during the 2020-21 domestic season and the first phase of IPL 2021. The right-handed batsman also made his ODI debut against New Zealand in February of 2020.
Shaw played all three games of the NZ series, but he could not cement his place in the Indian ODI squad. He struggled a bit in the Test format as well. He then returned to the domestic arena and worked hard to get his career back on track.
The former India U-19 captain will be keen to grab this opportunity with both hands and impress the selectors with his performances during the Sri Lankan tour. Shaw has never played a T20I in his career, but the chances of him receiving his maiden cap soon are very high.
2. Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson has been in and out of the Indian cricket team in recent years. Having made his T20I debut back in 2015, Samson has played only seven matches for India so far. His last appearance in the blue jersey came in December 2020 against Australia.
The selectors surprisingly ignored Samson for the 5-match T20I series against England at home. However, his fantastic performance in the first phase of IPL 2021 has helped Sanju regain his place in the Indian cricket team.
Like Prithvi Shaw, Samson will look forward to carrying his form from the IPL into the series against Sri Lanka. Samson played a T20I against the islanders in January of 2020, but could only score six runs in that game. It will be interesting to see how he performs this time around.
3. Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey has proven to be the Indian cricket team's lucky charm in T20Is. Since March 6, 2018, whenever he has been a part of the Indian playing XI in the shortest format of the game, the Men in Blue have always emerged victorious.
However, the selectors did not include him in the T20I squad for the home series against England. Manish Pandey had an average IPL 2021 season, but the upcoming Sri Lankan tour offers him a chance to make his case for a place in India's T20 World Cup squad.
It will be exciting to see if Manish Pandey's winning streak stays intact in the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
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