Rising T20 sensation M Shahrukh Khan and his state-mate, orthodox left-arm spinner Ravi Srinivas Sai Kishore, will be joining the Indian white-ball team as stand-by players for the upcoming six-match series against the West Indies.
Both Shahrukh and Sai Kishore played a huge part in Tamil Nadu’s victorious campaign and their call-up is more of a precautionary measure in COVID-19 times when there is every possibility of a player from the main squad testing positive.
“Yes, Shahrukh and Sai Kishore have been called as stand bys for the Windies series. They will also enter the bubble with main team players,” a senior BCCI official confirmed the development to PTI.
The limited overs series starts in Ahmedabad with a three-match ODI rubber followed by three T20 Internationals in Kolkata.
For Sai Kishore, this is the second opportunity in an Indian team set-up after he was part of the net bowlers’ group during a tour of Sri Lanka under Rahul Dravid last year.
Shahrukh, who was in contention to make it to the main squad, has been in the news this season for scoring runs at critical stages, including a last ball six against Karnataka, to win the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy final.
It was the same match where his colleague Sai Kishore got three wickets.
Similarly, against the same opponents in the Vijay Hazare Trophy quarter-final, he smashed 79 off 39 balls and his contribution in the final against HP was 42 off 21 balls.
While he might have to wait for his turn as head coach Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma give enough chances to the men who are above him in the pecking order of finishers, he can fancy an opportunity when the big guns are rested as the season progresses.
Ditto for Sai Kishore, who will be joining more as a net bowler with Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar and Axar Patel in the set-up.