‘Excited for the series to start’: Sakariya, Padikkal, Rana and other ‘newbies’ of Team India gear up for SL tour
Under the leadership of Shikhar Dhawan, a second-string Indian team will be travelling to Sri Lanka in July 2021. As the senior players are in England, the likes of Chetan Sakariya, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham, Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad received maiden call-ups for the Lankan tour.
The new faces of Team India are out of quarantine and have hit the gym to gear up for the upcoming tour. They shared their experiences being a part of the Indian side and donning the blue jersey.
Speaking with bcci.tv, rookie left-arm pacer Sakariya stated he is raring to go in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. He said, “Everybody is now used to quarantine ... it is good to come out of the quarantine and meet other players and everybody has done work out as per the needs. I am feeling very good.”
“When I got out of the room, I was constantly looking at myself, I was feeling good wearing the jersey, but once I came to the gym, I started doing my normal workout,” he added.
Delhi batsman Nitish Rana echoed similar sentiments, expressing his excitement to represent his country.
“The first seven days were difficult for me, as I was waiting to meet my teammates and I was waiting to wear the jersey. That time was a bit tough for me as each hour was feeling like a year. The atmosphere here is good and I am excited for the series to start. With a new trainer, I learned and did a new thing,” Rana said.
“After seven days I did intense training and I am looking forward to more intense workout sessions,” he added.
Karnataka duo – Padikkal and Gowtham – spoke about the quarantine life and training behind closed doors.
“Yeah, it has been great. Even in quarantine, we were trying to do as much as possible in our room, but it (training) is much better here in the gym and it is good to get out there and have a good session,” said Padikkal.
“We play for Karnataka, so we exactly know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Training with him (Padikkal) again, which was fun, but he needs to pick some more weight, so hope he gets stronger,” quipped Gowtham.
For Ruturaj, his India call-up was a dream-come-true moment. He said, “We were waiting for this for so many years, the place where you want to be, you work hard for that and when you get to know you are finally there, obviously it feels very nice.”
The Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian team will play three ODIs and as many T20Is against Sri Lanka in Colombo, starting from July 13.