The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced the 20-man squad for the upcoming white-ball series against Sri Lanka, starting July 13. India will play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and as many T20 Internationals (T20Is) in their tour to the Island Nation.
Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan has been appointed as the captain of Team India, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar was named as his deputy. Since the star players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah are in the UK for the 2021 World Test Championship (WTC) final and a five-match Test series versus England, many fresh faces have been picked in the squad.
For the first time, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Krishnappa Gowtham, Nitish Rana,and Chetan Sakariya have been included in the national cricket team. These players have impressed everyone through their domestic performances and shown consistency in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
One of the most captivating stories is of Sakariya, who plied his trade for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the 2021 edition of the lucrative league. From earning an INR 1.2 crore contract to losing his brother and father, Sakariya’s life has been on a roller-coaster.
Now that Sakariya is ready to walk from his baby steps in the international arena, the left-arm pacer has dedicated his India call-up to his late father. While speaking with The Indian Express at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, Sakariya said he misses his father as he always wanted him to play for India.
“I wish my father had been here to see this. He wanted me to play for India. I miss him a lot today. God has made me see ups and downs in a span of one year. It has been a very emotional ride so far,” said Sakariya.
“I lost my younger brother, and a month later, I got a big IPL contract. I lost my father last month, and god has handed me an India call-up. I was in the hospital for seven days when my father was battling for his life. This is an irreplaceable void. This one is for my late father and for my mother, who allowed me to continue with my cricket,” he added.
The Saurashtra cricketer revealed that after the IPL, he was expecting to get selected as a net bowler and never expected to be named in the main squad.
“The way people were talking about me after the IPL, I thought that now at least I have a chance to be a net bowler for the Indian team. I never expected that I would straightaway be picked in the main squad for Sri Lanka. Now it has happened, I will give my best,” the Bhavnagar-lad asserted.
The 22-year-old also disclosed how his RR captain Sanju Samson showed trust in him and predicted that he would soon be picked in the Indian team.
“Sanju bhai was showing more confidence in me than anyone else. In fact, he told me during the IPL that the way I was bowling, an India cap wasn’t far away,” Sakariya added further.