Gurkeerat Singh Mann might get to play in Australia: Team India has embarked on tour to Australia to play a series of 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is. They have undertaken the tour at the back of a 0-2 defeat in T20Is and 2-3 defeat in ODIs against South Africa at home, late 2015.
The ODI squad does not include one of the best players in limited format, Suresh Raina, who did very little in the home series against South Africa and seems to have lost the confidence of the selectors and team management.
However, the BCCI’s ‘wise men’ have included the 25-year old Punjab swashbuckling batsman, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, possibly as a replacement for Raina.
Gurkeerat has had a reasonably good outing in Ranji Trophy 2015-16. Playing in 3 games (4 innings) he has accumulated 251 runs at an average of 83.66 with 201* as his individual best.
Bowling in 4 innings, he has also picked up 11 wickets at an average of 7.72, giving away 1.90 runs an over and picking up a wicket after every 24.3 deliveries.
In 34 innings that Gurkeerat has played in First Class games, he has scored 1,469 runs at an average of 47.38 with 201* as his personal best. Of the total, 836 runs (194*4, 10*6), 56.91%, have come by way of big hits. He has also picked up 32 wickets that includes one ‘five-wicket’ haul.
He was part of the Indian squad during the home series against South Africa but could not make his debut.
Given the state of affairs that Team India is currently going through, the Team Director, Ravi Shastri and skipper Dhoni could think in terms of blooding youngsters and give them the chance to show case their talent in international stage.
In the absence of the hard-hitter, in the form of Raina, the skipper might just want to bring in Gurkeerat Singh, who can also be used to unleash his off-breaks on part-time basis.
India take on a second string Western Australia in a warm-up game today (8th Jan 2016) at WACA in the T20 format and possibly Gurkeerat would get to don the Indian colours and do duty.
This game would be followed by another one in the 50-over format against the same opposition at the same venue before the official series get under way at WACA from 12th Jan, 2016, with the first of the five ODIs.
Hopefully Gurkeerat would be successful in justifying the confidence the selectors’ and the team management have reposed on him and become an integral part of the Indian dressing room.