Another Kerala-born cricketer will make his T20I debut for Team India as right-arm medium pacer Sandeep Warrier has been included in the playing XI for the series-decider against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
The Covid era has led to many cricketers who weren’t even close to a national call-up play for the country. We saw that in the case of T Natarajan, Washington Sundar earlier this year when the duo made their Test debut against Australia at the Gabba.
The same can be said about Sandeep Warrier. Just like Natarajan and Washington Sundar earlier this year, Sandeep Warrier had traveled to Sri Lanka with the Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian team as a net bowler.
However, with Krunal Pandya getting infected with Covid and as many as eight close contacts forced to isolate, the BCCI was forced to add Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Simarjeet Singh, Ishan Porel, and Sai Kishore in the squad.
With Navdeep Saini hurting his shoulder in the last game, the management decided to rope in Sandeep Warrier in the playing XI for the final T20I.
A medium pacer with the ability to extract disconcerting bounce off the surface besides getting the ball to move in the air and off the wicket, the 30-year-old Sandeep has been a vital cog in the Kerala Cricket team across all three formats ever since he made his debut back in 2012.
He played for Kerala till the year 2020 and he was the main reason why the team progressed to the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy.
He shifted his allegiance to Tamil Nadu last year.
Tears of joy! ☺️
The wait is finally over. Welcome to international cricket, Sandeep Warrier. 👏 👏
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 29, 2021
Warrier has thus far featured in 57 FC, 55 List A, and 54 T20s and has claimed 186, 66, and 53 wickets respectively.
The right-arm pacer was picked by the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2019 season but since he has played just 4 games. He claimed two wickets in as many matches in the 2019 season before returning wicketless in the next couple of games he played a season later.