Colombo, July 6 (IANS) With Rahul Dravid, the head coach of India’s limited-overs team in Sri Lanka, making it clear that only one or two players from the squad have a chance to make it the T20 World Cup squad, there will be immense pressure on the players.
While there are four openers — Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal — in the squad, the middle-order will see a tussle between Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (who both play for a common franchise in Indian Premier League), Manish Pandey, Nitish Rana and Sanju Samson.
Only Rana, Gaikwad and Padikkal have not represented India before.
Yadav and Kishan have only recently made their international debut, during the home series against England.
“That (England series) was a completely different challenge and every time you come, you play or go in, you have to start from scratch. So this also have to start from zero. That was a different series, this is a different series,” said Yadav to the media in an interaction.
“I have to go in the park and perform the same way. So the pressure will be there. If there is no pressure, there is no fun. So it will be a great challenge and I am really looking forward to it,” he added.
With Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who both are in England for the Test matches, certain to make it to the playing XI in the T20 World Cup, the fight for the remaining places is likely to hot up as players will push each other.
“It is a great opportunity for everyone. Having a tour amidst this situation. It is a challenge and responsibility for each and every one to come out here and express themselves,” said Yadav who added that the conditions in Colombo, Sri Lanka will be similar to those back home.
“We have played in these conditions. They are like what we encounter in Mumbai and Chennai, where it is very hot and the humidity is high. We have come here 15-20 days before the tournament to get acclimatised to the conditions,” he said further.
Yadav said that the Indian team is not giving much thought to the ‘second-string’ barb thrown by former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga. Ranatunga had chided Sri Lanka Cricket for hosting what he termed ‘a second string’ Indian side.
“No, not really [thinking about it]. The way the practice sessions are going. The way the [intra-squad] game went yesterday, we are really excited and ready for the challenge. We are just here to have some fun. Enjoying the series completely and take a lot of positives from here.”