BCCI has selected a 20-member contingent who will tour Sri Lanka in July this year. The itinerary will be three ODI and T20I games apiece. Since most of the main players in England, the touring squad will consist of the limited-overs specialists and a few newbies. In fact, this tour was set up in the first place to test a few youngsters. However, a few players missed in the Shikhar Dhawan led squad for SL tour 2021. We talk about them in the below headings.
1) Ravi Bishnoi
After his stint in the 2020 U19 World Cup, where he ended up as the leading wicket-taker with 17 wickets in six games, Ravi Bishnoi was earmarked to lead India’s spin attack in future. The young leggie from Rajasthan followed it up with 12 wickets in IPL 2020 and 11 scalps in seven games at 2021’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
With the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal struggling for form, the experts felt that Bishnoi could break into the squad for SL tour 2021. However, the selectors have instead gone in with Yuzi, Rahul Chahar and Kuldeep Yadav in the spin department. With leg-spin stacked in this unit, Bishnoi was the unlucky player to miss out.
2) Harshal Patel
The 2019-20 edition of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy was brilliant for Harshal Patel. While he was the third-highest wicket-taker with 19 wickets from 12 games, the Haryana player was also the fourth-highest run-scorer of the tournament with 374 runs.
Team India has been searching for a suitable backup for Hardik Pandya in the pace-bowling all-rounder department. Harshal Patel made a firm case for his selection by collecting 17 wickets in the first phase of IPL 2021. He was the Purple Cap holder by the time the competition was suspended. Yet, the player has not made it to the squad. Unfortunately, he was not even selected as a net bowler for the tour.
3) Shahrukh Khan
Shahrukh‘s brute hitting was the reason Tamil Nadu won the quarter-finals and the finals of SMAT 2021. Deservedly, he earned a contract worth INR 5.25 Cr by Punjab Kings for IPL 2021. Including a well-made knock of 47, the all-rounder showed promise with his stint at the crease in IPL.
With great returns in the domestic circuit, Shahrukh would have been expecting a call-up to Team India. The squad would anyways benefit by having a multi-utility player in the middle-order. However, the 26-year-old has missed out on the squad for SL tour 2021.
4) Shivam Mavi
Shivam Mavi has been a promising player for a while now both in IPL and in the domestic circuit. Be it his hattrick against Saurashtra in the 2018 Vijay Hazare Trophy or his recent powerplay exploits against Punjab Kings in IPL 2021, the Uttar Pradesh lad has been making noise. In the 2018 U19 World Cup, too, the right-arm pacer had done well with nine wickets from six games.
Yes, the Prithvi Shaw over in which he conceded six fours would have been demoralizing, but Mavi would have taken it as part of his learning curve. He is someone who can bowl well during the middle-overs, as seen in IPL. Team India could have given a chance to the 22-year-old, but that has unfortunately not happened.
5) Rahul Tewatia
Rahul Tewatia was part of the Indian T20I squad against England at the beginning of 2021. However, owing to fitness issues, the all-rounder could not feature. Hence, it is natural to have expected him to tour Sri Lanka, provided the senior players are in England.
However, the selectors have instead picked K Gowtham in the squad. Since Rahul is a leg-spinner and considering there are already two similar players in the squad, he might have been ignored.