Tamil Nadu batter Shahrukh Khan has been added to India’s main squad along with Ishan Kishan for the first ODI against West Indies in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
On the eve of the first ODI, India’s white-ball captain Rohit Sharma confirmed that Kishan will open the batting along with him in the Covid-enforced absence of Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Mayank Agarwal, the other reserve batter, is still undergoing mandatory quarantine and is unlikely to be available for selection for the first game.
Shahrukh has been Tamil Nadu’s designated finisher over the past three white-ball seasons, having batted at the top in the Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL). He hit the winning runs for Tamil Nadu during their back-to-back Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy victories. In the most recent season, when Tamil Nadu needed five off the last ball against Karnataka, he hit a six, underscoring his status as one of the best finishers in Indian domestic cricket.
During a chat with ESPNcricinfo recently, Shahrukh said he would want to play a similar style of cricket if picked for India during the series.
“Playing for India is a huge responsibility in itself, and brings with it its own pressure,” Shahrukh said. “There are some massive names in this team, and I have grown up watching them on TV. My aim – if I get the chance – would be to simply go with an open mind and enjoy my cricket, just the way I do for Tamil Nadu.
“If I overthink this, then I would just create more pressure on myself and stray from my natural game. My aim in every game is to go out to the middle and play freely, without worrying too much about the results and focusing on the process instead.”
Shahrukh initially featured among the first round of uncapped players, which will start from Player No. 55, for the forthcoming IPL mega auction. If he makes his international debut on Sunday, he will instead be part of the capped players’ pool. Shahrukh had increased his base price from INR 20 lakh to 40 lakh when the auction shortlist was announced earlier this week. Kishan, meanwhile, had listed his base price at INR 2 crore, but he isn’t part of the marquee set.
India squad for first ODI: Rohit Sharma (capt), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (wk), Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Ishan Kishan, Shahrukh Khan
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