Who is Sandeep Warrier, India's newest T20I cricketer who made his debut against Sri Lanka?
- All you need to know about Sandeep Warrier, the fast bowler who made his debut for India in the third T20I against Sri Lanka.
India on Thursday handed debut to fast bowler Sandeep Warrier in the third T20I against Sri Lanka at Colombo. Warrier, originally a net bowler travelling with the rest of the team, was drafted into the main squad on Wednesday after nine players were forced to be in isolation due to Covid-19. And a day later, Warrier's biggest dream came true when he received his India cap from bowling coach Paras Mhambrey ahead of the series decider.
Warrier, who was also a reserve bowler with the Indian team for the England series earlier this year at home, has an impressive bowling record in domestic cricket. For Kerala, Warrier was the leading wicket-taker at the 2018-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy, claiming 12 scalps from six matches and also led the overall pack in the group stages with 44 wickets from 10 games. At the 2019 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Warrier had picked up a hat-trick against Andhra, dismissing KV Sasikanth, Karn Sharma and SK Ismail off consecutive balls in the final over.
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When Kerala reached the Ranji Trophy semi-final for the first-time ever, Warrier led the bowing chart with 39 wickets at an average of 18.33. He rattled Bengal in a game with 5/33, a spell that captivated the then-Kerala coach Dav Whatmore, to an extent that he compared his spell to that of greats Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel's efforts in a Test match against Pakistan. Warrier has played 57 First-Class games having picked up 186 wickets to go with another 66 scalps from 55 List-A matches.
Starting his career as mainly a swing bowler, Warrier has added pace to his repertoire and is capable of bowling in the late 130s. Ahead of the star of IPL 2019, Warrier, who originally went unsold at the auction that year, was acquired by Kolkata Knight Riders, as a backup for Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
So far, Warrier has played just four IPL matches, in which he's picked up two wickets. Earlier this year, Warrier and KKR teammate Varun Chakravarthy had tested positive for Covid-19 which forced a reschedule of their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.