Two Indian national squads are currently gearing up for the upcoming bilateral series. Indian team is set to face Sri Lanka and England in their next two away tours. The primary Indian squad is currently in England and preparing for forthcoming India vs England 5-match Test series in August.
The squad is led by skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane is the vice-captain. Another secondary Indian squad is set to face Sri Lanka in a three-match ODI and three-match T20I series. This squad has Shikhar Dhawan as captain and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as vice-captain.
India vs England Test series will commence with the first Test on August 4. The final 5th Test is scheduled to start on September 10. The India vs Sri Lanka ODI series will begin with the first match on July 13 and end with the 3rd ODI on July 18.
Moreover, the three-match T20I series will commence on July 21 with the first match and conclude on July 25 with the 3rd T20I encounter.
Since most of the crucial Indian players are part of the squad that will face England in the Test series, there are many newcomers and uncapped Indian players who are part of the Sri Lanka tour. But there are also some Indian players in England who could have gained the limelight if they were part of the India vs Sri Lanka ODI and T20I series. Here we talk about 5 Indian players in England who could have been match-winners in Sri Lanka.
5 Indian Players In England Who Could Have Been Match Winners In Sri Lanka
5. Avesh Khan
Avesh Khan is the first player in this list. The right-arm pacer has been selected as a standby player in the Indian squad for the England Test series. The 24-year-old bowler is an uncapped player. The right-arm pacer showed a consistent performance in First-Class cricket in recent times which helped him to get a national call. He has picked 100 wickets in 26 First-Class matches.
Moreover, Khan was also the 4th highest wicket-taker in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 with 14 wickets and the 2nd highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 with 14 wickets in 8 games. Although Avesh Khan is part of India vs England series, he is less likely to get a chance in the playing XI.
Instead, if he was part of the Sri Lanka tour, he would have definitely got an opportunity to play in the ODI and T20I series. With his dominant bowling form at present, he could have emerged as a match-winner in Sri Lanka.
4. Axar Patel
Axar Patel is another player in this list. The left-arm spinner made an astonishing Test debut against England earlier this year, picking 27 wickets in 6 innings. Axar Patel is part of the Indian squad for the England Test tour. However, Ravichandran Ashwin is already the primary spinner in the squad.
Moreover, with England conditions favoring pacers more, Axar Patel is less likely to be part of the playing XI. If he was not part of the England tour, the 27-year-old would have been selected for the Sri Lanka tour. With spin-friendly conditions in the sub-continent Sri Lanka, Axar could have emerged as a match-winner.
3. Washington Sundar
Washinton Sundar is another player who could have emerged as a match-winner against Sri Lanka. The bowling all-rounder made a fabulous Test debut during India vs Australia Test series in January this year. The left-arm pacer picked 4 wickets in 2 innings against Australia and also scored 84 runs in 2 innings with 1 half-century of 84 runs.
The 21-year-old continued his brilliant form in the England Test series in February-March 2021, picking 2 wickets in 5 innings and scoring 181 runs in 4 innings with 2 fifties. He also smashed a crucial unbeaten knock of 96 runs in one innings. If he was part of the Indian squad against Sri Lanka, he would have definitely emerged as a match-winner with his excellence in batting and bowling.
2. Shardul Thakur
Shardul Thakur is another player who is part of Virat Kohli-led squad for the Test series against England. Since the start of this year, Shardul Thakur has impressed with his pace attack. The right-arm pacer picked 7 wickets in India vs Australia 4th Test in January this year. Later, he also showcased a phenomenal bowling attack against England.
In the T20I series against England in March this year, the 29-year-old scalped 8 wickets in 5 games. In the 3 ODI matches against England, he scalped 7 wickets. Hence with such an incredible bowling form at present, Shardul Thakur would have definitely gained the spotlight in the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka.
1. KL Rahul
KL Rahul is also part of the Indian squad that is scheduled to play against England in the Test series. The Indian squad is likely to go with Rishabh Pant as the primary wicket-keeper during the matches. Moreover, Wriddhiman Saha is another wicket-keeper batsman in the team.
For the opening slot, the Indian team might give chances to Mayank Agarwal or Shubman Gill in the England Test series. Therefore, KL Rahul might have to warm the bench in few games if not all.
However, if he was part of India’s tour of Sri Lanka, the right-handed batsman would have been a permanent member of the ODI and T20I series since he is an experienced Indian player. In the recent first leg of IPL 2021, KL Rahul was in spectacular form- smashing 331 runs in 7 games with 4 fifties.
Prior to that, he also smashed one century and one half-century during India vs England 3-match ODI series. With such a mighty form at present, KL Rahul could have emerged match-winner for India against Sri Lanka.
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