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India vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20I: Padikkal, Gaikwad, Rana, Sakariya debut as SL invite Dhawan to bat first

Colombo, July 28: The COVID-19 hit Indian cricket team handed debut caps to four players in the second Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka on Wednesday (July 28) at R Premadasa Stadium.

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya will be making their debut as nine players from the Indian camp have been isolated after all-rounder Krunal Pandya tested COVID-19 positive on Tuesday (July 27), forcing the organisers to postpone the game by a day.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka once again won the toss and invited India skipper Shikhar Dhawan to bat first. The hosts have also made a couple of changes in their playing eleven.

"We'll bowl first. It's a used pitch. Was covered last night, so might have some help early. We have two changes," said Shanaka after winning the toss.

Dhawan said he would have batted first anyway had he won the toss so losing it won't affect his team's strategy.

"We would have batted first, so I'm happy with it. There are four debutants. Lots of changes due to obvious reasons. We're all looking forward to this. We're street-fighters and ready to face the challenges. Our main players aren't here, but that gives the chance to the younger players. They have created great energy for the last 45 days, and I'm glad they have got their chances. These things can happen in the current scenario, that's why we brought a large squad," said Dhawan.

India will miss the services of the key players due to isolation protocols. India's squad strength is now 15 instead of 24. All four net bowlers --- Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Simarjeet Singh and R Sai Kishore -- have been included the main team with nine players unavailable.

Apart from Krunal, the eight others who are out of the series and not allowed to come to ground despite testing negative are Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey. Deepak Chahar has also been isolated.

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Story first published: Wednesday, July 28, 2021, 20:07 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 28, 2021