Simarjeet Singh: The 23-year old right-arm medium-fast bowler is the newest name in the Indian contingent for the tour of Sri Lanka.
The All-India Senior Selection Committee announced a 20-member squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka which will comprise of three ODIs and as many T20Is.
With the Test team consisting of multiple first-choice all-format players, the white-ball team has a total of six uncapped players, all of whom have been rewarded for their performances in the domestic cricket or the Indian Premier League.
Having represented India in 241 matches across formats, veteran opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has been handed the reigns of the white-ball team for the first time in his career. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has played 186 matches for India across formats, will be Dhawan’s deputy on this tour.
Who all are the five net bowlers for India’s tour of Sri Lanka 2021?
Apart from a second-string 20-member squad, which doesn’t look like a second-string squad due to India’s rich bench strength, the selection committee also announced five uncapped bowlers who will accompany the team to Sri Lanka as net bowlers.
Bengal and Punjab Kings pacer Ishan Porel will board the flight to Sri Lanka as a net bowler. Yet to make his debut in the IPL despite being with Punjab for a couple of seasons, Porel has been a consistent wicket-taker for Bengal across formats. In 71 competitive matches, Porel has dismissed 137 batsmen including five five-wicket hauls.
Way more experienced than Porel, 30-year old Tamil Nadu and Kolkata Knight Riders fast bowler Sandeep Warrier will also travel with the Indian team to Sri Lanka.
While Warrier has picked just two wickets in four IPL matches across three seasons, the right-arm bowler has 305 wickets to his name across formats in his nine-year old domestic cricket.
Having impressed one and all including the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Irfan Pathan with his disciplined bowling in the slog overs of the IPL for Punjab Kings, Arshdeep Singh has been rewarded for picking 19 wickets in 17 IPL matches at an average and strike rate of 25.11 and 16.79 respectively.
Arshdeep, who represents Punjab in domestic cricket, has earned praises from his IPL captain Lokesh Rahul on several occasions now. It is worth mentioning that both Porel and Arshdeep were part of India’s victorious U-19 World Cup campaign in 2018 under captain Prithvi Shaw and coach Rahul Dravid.
A product of the Tamil Nadu Premier League, Tamil Nadu spinner R Sai Kishore is the only spinner among the net bowlers for the tour of Sri Lanka. Known for his knack of not giving runs, Sai Kishore is rated highly by people who’ve seen him bowl. Having said that, he is yet to earn his debut at Chennai Super Kings despite warming their bench for sometime now.
In 30 T20s, Sai Kishore has picked 33 wickets at an average of 16.78, an economy rate of 5.28 and a strike rate of 19. In 25 List A matches, Sai Kishore’s 45 wickets have come at an average of 21.15, an economy rate of 4.57 and a strike rate of 27.70.
Also a big moment for @TNCACricket Sai Kishore. Will travel to Sri Lanka as a net bowler along with Sandeep Warrier, Ishan Porel, Arshdeep Singh and Simarjeet Singh.
— Venkata Krishna B (@venkatatweets) June 10, 2021
The newest of the five names, Delhi fast bowler Simarjeet Singh will accompany the senior team for the first time in any capacity. In the last season of the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the right-arm fast-medium bowler had picked 11 wickets at an average of 28.45, an economy rate of 5.65 and a strike rate of 30.1. The 23-year old bowler was the joint second-highest wicket-taker for Delhi this season.