'When Shikhar Dhawan goes, he would be his ideal replacement': Virender Sehwag names 'future star' of Indian cricket
With a capacity of fielding two different teams in two different parts of the world at almost the same time, it is safe to say that India probably boast the largest pool of top-flight players in world cricket. Their bench strength needs no introduction with every one, from promising youngsters to uncapped cricketers, capable of playing at the highest level. This was visible during the second T20I against Sri Lanka, where even with a depleted unit, India nearly pulled off a win.
On Wednesday, India handed debuts to four youngsters in Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana and Chetan Sakariya. Of them, Padikkal was the biggest positive as he scored 29 coming in at No. 3 on a sluggish Colombo surface. In fact, Padikkal's was the second-highest individual score in India's innings after Shikhar Dhawan's 40.
Although Padikkal did not get a big score, former India batsman Virender Sehwag was impressed with the batsman's approach. As a matter of fact, Sehwag sees so much potential in Padikkal that he believes the young left-handed batsman could be the ideal replacement for Dhawan.
"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. 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 said on Cricbuzz.
Padikkal is likely to get another opportunity in the series decider on Thursday and Sehwag reckons the current conditions in Sri Lanka are ideal for Padikkal to get some runs and be in a good stead ahead of the remainder of the IPL 2021, which resumes from September in the UAE.
"If he performs, it will help his confidence and he can be a future star. He has that talent based on what I've seen in his batting. There’s no better thing than him getting an opportunity against Sri Lanka. The wickets will be flat, there will be no swing or seam. He just needs to keep a little bit of patience and needs to be careful with his shot selection. It shouldn't be tough for him to score runs," Sehwag pointed out.