Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan captained his side in the recently concluded Sri Lanka tour comprising three One-Day Internationals and many T20 Internationals. The ‘Men in Blue’ clinched the ODI leg 2-1 but lost the T20I series 2-1.
In the second T20I, Team India handed debuts to four youngsters in the form of Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya. Out of them, Padikkal was the biggest positive as he made 29 runs on a challenging surface in Colombo. In fact, Padikkal was the second-highest individual scorer for India after Dhawan, who had scored 40 runs.
Padikkal didn’t get the big score, but he still impressed many, including former India opener Virender Sehwag. In a chat with Cricbuzz, Sehwag heaped praises on Padikkal, saying he has the potential to go big in the fascinating game.
The 42-year-old even reckoned that the Karanataka batter has every quality to become an ideal replacement for Dhawan. Sehwag recalled Padikkal’s incredible century in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, saying he has scored some brilliant knocks in IPL, and I want to see him perming at the international level as well.
“I really want to see him perform because the way he played a couple of innings struck a century in the IPL, we saw some brilliant batting. When Shikhar Dhawan goes, he would be the right replacement for him,” said Sehwag.
The cricketer-turned-analyst also hoped the Indian young guns to get big opportunities in the sub-continent so that when they travel to SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand, Australia), there shall be some confidence in them.
“The only thing is that I want these Indian youngsters to first get opportunities in the sub-continent because then when he goes to England, Australia or South Africa, there is confidence behind him,” Sehwag added.
Padikkal has so far played 21 IPL matches, in which he has managed to score 668 runs at a strike rate of 131.8 with one hundred and five half-centuries.