The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday announced the 18-member Indian squad for the impending five-match T20I series against South Africa. While the announcement saw the return of Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik back into the Indian team, which will be led by KL Rahul in the absence of big names, it also saw the maiden call-ups of Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh. However, a shock omission of an uncapped star left former cricketer Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh disappointed.
Moments after the announcement of the squad, Harbhajan had taken to Twitter to express in disappointment over the absence of star Sunrisers Hyderabad batter Rahul Tripathi.
“Disappointed to not see Rahul Tripathi’s name in the squad. He deserved a chance,” he tweeted.
Sehwag, on the other hand, compared Tripathi’s situation to that of Suryakumar Yadav. The Mumbai Indians batter kept knocking on the doors of the selectors over the last few years with his impressive knocks in IPL before he made it to the Indian squad in 2021 and was later picked for the T20 World Cup team as well.
“I think we were saying the same thing about Suryakumar last year. Patience is a virtue,” he told Cricbuzz.
Tripathi long flown under the radar despite good knocks. In this season, Tripathi has scored 393 runs in 13 matches at an average of 39.30 and a strike rate of 161.72. The tally also comprises three half-centuries with a top score of 76.
Earlier, Australia legend Matthew Hayden had backed Tripathi to make the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup as well. “I just love his ability to go hard upfront. The way Tripathi is taking the responsibility to strike the ball hard is brilliant. I think he has the real potential in the future to go all the way to the international level,” Hayden told Star Sports.
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