'He might get into India's World Cup squad': Sehwag names 4 cricketers to 'intently watch' in IPL 2021
- Sehwag, who has worked with Punjab Kings team (Kings XI Punjab then) as a mentor, said if Padikkal can perform well for the RCB in these remaining 7-8 matches then he can be drafted into the Indian T20 World Cup squad.
Former India opener Virender Sehwag named four cricketers he would be looking forward to when IPL 2021 resumes on September 19 in the UAE. Sehwag said he would be ‘intently watching’ Mumbai Indians' Ishan Kishan, Royal Challengers Bangalore's Devdutt Padikkal, Punjab Kings' KL Rahul and Rajasthan Royals' Sanju Samson.
Kishan, however, was Sehwag's first-choice but the former dashing opener would pick Padikkal if he had to put his money on one.
“My first choice will be Ishan Kishan followed by Devdutt Padikkal, KL Rahul and Sanju Samson. These four I will be intently watching. I have loved Devdutt's batting and if I have to pick one amongst the four, he is my man,” Sehwag told PTI.
Sehwag, who has worked with Punjab Kings team (Kings XI Punjab then) as a mentor in the past, said if Padikkal can perform well for the RCB in these remaining 7-8 matches then he can be drafted into the Indian T20 World Cup squad.
“Who knows, if he does well, he might be drafted in as that Indian top-order for the T20 World Cup,” he added.
Padikkal, who had a wonderful debut for RCB in IPL 2020 scoring 473 runs in 15 matches, carried that form into domestic cricket to earn his maiden India call-up for the Sri Lanka limited-overs tour earlier this.
The left-hander, who played two T20Is on difficult tracks in Sri Lanka, failed to make the for the T20 World Cup but Sehwag believes there still can be changes to the squad based on IPL performances.
"100%. We have around seven matches minimum left for the teams. That means you still have a platform to perform and those who are on the fringes could still impress the Indian selectors who would be watching the tournament closely. "Since ICC allows a window to change teams, I will not be surprised if there are some changes in the original squad," the Nawab of Najafgarh said.
The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League began in April this year but had to postponed after multiple Covid cases were detected inside its bubble. The tournament had to be shifted out of India as BCCI decided to take it to UAE for the the third time - first was in 2014 and then in 2020.
The good news, however, is that fans will be allowed in the UAE leg of IPL 2021.
In the first match of second leg, defending champions Mumbai Indians will take on Chennai Super Kings in Dubai on Sunday.