The Nidahas trophy is about to kick start on March 6th, 2018. The curtain-raiser match will be played by India and Sri Lanka. This tournament is to be commenced to celebrate the 70th Independence Day of the host, Sri Lanka. This tournament was last played on account of 50th Independence day celebrations of Sri Lanka in 1998. The encounter between these three Asian countries seems a family get-together.For this tournament, the crucial Indian players were given rest. Including the captain, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar had played all the matches in the series against South Africa. So, they were rested for the Nidahas tournament. MS Dhoni was also offered rest for this tri-national tournament played by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This will be an opportunity for the youngsters to cement their position in the team. Apart from Indian players, key players of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka like Angelo Mathews and Shakib Al Hasan were out of their respective teams due to injury woes. This will be a challenge for new players.
Raina, Rahul and Rahane have their pack of challenges
Suresh Raina, KL Rahul, and Ajinkya Rahane want to cherish this opportunity by a good performance and gain a berth in the upcoming World cup 2019. Ajinkya Rahane is the ODI specialist and KL Rahul the T20I specialist opener, Team India is confident about their performances. Suresh Raina, one of the solid middle order batsmen resumed to his strike rate of above 150 in his tour to South Africa. Raina, called fearless cricketer by coach Ravi Shastri eyed on his comeback into the team and strengthen his position.
Can newcomers make a mark?
New players Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar and Washington Sundar were provided the place in the 16-member squad. They were included in the team in the place of rested players. Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar could be the choice of the selectors for a wicket-keeper and Deepak Hooda will be their option if they look for an all-rounder. Rishabh Pant and Mohammed Siraj who played a handful of domestic matches were given an incredible opportunity to play for the country. Pant is in a good form. He scored a thunderous 116 runs off 38 balls in Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament against Himachal Pradesh. Let us see if these newcomers will repay their rewards by making a significant performance in this tournament. In the absence of Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar have to compete for his place as they can do well with both the bat and ball.
Chandimal has to shoulder the load
With the absence of Angelo Mathews, Chandimal has to shoulder the load of leading the team towards victory. Due to injury woes, Asela Gunaratne and Shehan Madhushanka were also missing out this series. Chandimal has to work on cruising the team towards the series win as he did for the series against Bangladesh. Some of the crucial players like Upul Tharanga, Thisara Perera , and Suranga Lakmal are looking to support their skipper for the series victory with their good form and performance.
The team was good at the confidence with the return of Kusal Perera. On the other hand, Kusal Mendis is in good form with two fifties in the series against Bangladesh. These players are the assets of the host team.
With the absence of Shakib Al Hasan, the selectors are about to accommodate new faces like Imrul Kayes and Shabbir Rahman. Head coach Courtney Walsh came into the seat of Richard Halsall. With the retirement of Pros like Mashrafe Mortaza from T20Is, the selectors have to pick the best out of new players for this tournament. Mahammudullah, the captain of the team for this series had a good record as the captain. The team won two T20Is against Sri Lanka when he led the team. He did well with the bat in both of the matches to contribute the team’s win. He is looking to grab the opportunity and attain better results in the absence of the captain Shakib Al Hasan.