Colombo, July 28 (IANS) The Indian team was on Wednesday forced to field only four specialist batsmen as well as a wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson in the second T20 International against Sri Lanka after Covid-stricken Krunal Pandya and eight of his close contacts were left out of the squad.
Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana Rana, and Chetan Sakariya are making their debut.
Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bowl.
Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav, who are due to travel to England for the Test series, and Hardik Pandya are among those not playing.
“Unfortunately, the close contacts of Krunal won’t be playing a part in the series. We have 11 players to choose and we will have to play them,” said team coach Rahul Dravid.
“There is nothing to feel sorry about. All the 11 are good enough to make the 11 and that is why they were picked in the squad. I feel it is exciting to see them perform. Yes, the balance of the side will be a little fragile because we can only pick from the players available.”
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan said had he won the toss he would have batted first.
“There are four debutantes. Lots of changes due to obvious reasons. We are all looking forward to this. We are street-fighters and ready to face the challenges,” he said.
“Our main players are not here, but that gives the chance to the younger players. They have created great energy for the last 45 days, and I am glad they have got their chances. These things can happen in the current scenario, that is why we brought a large squad,” added Dhawan.
Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka (wicketkeeper), Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka (captain), Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (wicketkeeper), Nitish Rana, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy.