Indian batsman Prithvi Shaw is all set to make a comeback in the forthcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after recovering from an ankle injury that he sustained in December, last year.
The 19-year-old had played an impressive centurion knock in his debut Test against West Indies in 2018 but was ruled out of the Australia Test series due to an ankle injury.
Right-arm pacer Ishant Sharma will also be back in the domestic competition after having a brilliant run against Australia which helped India win the Border Gavaskar trophy. The Delhi player will begin his campaign in the tournament with a match against Jharkhand on February 21, ESPNcricinfo reported.
While Ajinkya Rahane will be leading the Mumbai team, Wriddhiman Saha is also in line to play for Bengal.
Other notable players who are likely to be seen in the T20 tournament include Ravichandran Ashwin (Tamil Nadu), Mayank Agarwal (Karnataka), Manish Pandey and Karun Nair.
Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy is slated to be held from February 21 to March 14.
England ODI series a good gauge ahead of World Cup: Shai Hope
West Indies right-hand batsman Shai Hope believes that their upcoming five-match ODI series against England would be a good gauge for them ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
The Caribbean side recently clinched a memorable Test series win against the English team and Shai is now hopeful of continuing their rich vein of form in the ODIsas well.
“It’s a lot to look forward to. It's a very exciting time, especially leading up to the World Cup so I’m sure the guys are ready and raring to go. We are just coming off a Test series win and that was fantastic for everyone involved and the fans, so it is important for us to continue in that vein and try to get the series win as well, ICC quoted Shai,” as saying.
“We can use this as a good gauge for us going into the World Cup. We are still looking at some plans, in terms of what is the best fit and combination but its a good challenge for us and we’ve got some work to do,” he added.
The keeper-batsman also welcomed Chris Gayle back into the squad and said the latter's presence will prove to be beneficial for the team.
“It’s great, just to see him (Gayle) at nets. Good laugh, good shots as well, and he’s going to strengthen the team a lot. We know the importance that Gayle brings to the team. He has a lot of experience and we need to make sure we use that experience and strengthen the entire team,” Shai said.
Talking about their plans ahead of the ODI series, Shai revealed that they are going to use their underdog tag as a motivator.
“We will use it (the underdog tag) as a motivator. We knew what people were saying about us and we’ve got to do the same as we did to win the Test series make sure that we know were coming here to play cricket and put up a fight. And it’s just not to put up a fight either but to win so we’ve got to make sure we do that,” he said.
“We are an international team and we have come here to play cricket. We will use it as a challenge, we know they’re gonna come at us hard but we will fight fire with fire. Hopefully we have given the fans something to look forward to. I’m sure they’re coming for two wins back-to-back at home. We gave them a win in the Test series so hopefully we can do the same again,” he added.
England and West Indies will play five ODIs between February 20 and March 2.
West Indies need better batting: Bishop
Former West Indies bowler Ian Bishop took pride in his former team's recent Test series win over England, and thinks the current crop is "filled with possibilities" enough to climb up the rankings and put a smile back on the face of Caribbean fans.
Despite the unexpected 2-1 win in the three-Test series, West Indies remain eighth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings, bottom of the sport's traditional powers.
The series against England showed that West Indies has depth in fast bowling, but Bishop identified two glaring deficiencies that need to be rectified for the team to have further success.
"They are looking for a spinner to be developed and want more consistency for the top-order batting," the Trinidadian said in a telephone interview with Reuters ahead of the five-game one-day international series that starts on Wednesday.
"From speaking with one or two of the people involved with the team, they are very aware of certain areas of the game that need to be rectified."
West Indies played the Tests against England without a specialist spinner, though all-rounder Roston Chase took eight wickets in the first Test, which West Indies won by 381 runs.
They followed up with a 10-wicket win in the second Test, though it could have been a far different story had Jason Holder not won the toss and sent England in on a green wicket.
West Indies openers John Campbell and Kraigg Brathwaite got the team off to decent starts with partnerships in excess of 50 in all but one innings, but the rest of the top order proved brittle and inconsistent.
Shai Hope was out cheaply three times in five innings and his back-to-back centuries at Leeds in 2017 are a distant memory, although Bishop said he was a "phenomenal talent".
"During the (recent) series, and even last year, batting on seamer-friendly pitches, he is getting beaten on the outside of the bat and inside of the bat," said Bishop, now a respected television commentator in the Caribbean.
"He has to decide how best he can position himself at the crease and allow the ball to come to him, because he is reaching for the ball. He will overcome it. He just needs reps. I think he's an investment."
Stylish left-hander Darren Bravo, back in the team after a two-year absence following a dispute with administrators, also failed in four of his five innings but with a batting average of more than 38, Bishop said he only needs time to "integrate himself" back into Test cricket.
Chase also had three failures, balanced by an unbeaten century in the final Test, while Shimron Hetmyer made 81 in the first Test but then fell away.
Hetmyer's problems may stem from a heavy schedule, with the 22-year-old still due to play in the IPL and Bishop said his workload needed to be managed over the next year.
"Particularly for next six to eight months, his cricket must be managed," Bishop said.
"He's an integral part of the Test match team, growing quickly as a batsmen.
"Problem is that for such a young kid he is good in all formats of the game. In order to keep fresh, he has to be managed. It could mean time off. If he were to play every game, that's a lot of cricket."
Bishop thinks West Indies could rise in the Test rankings, particularly with Holder at the helm, but the days of the team that dominated the 1970s and early 1980s are over.
Sri Lanka's Dananjaya has illegal action ban lifted by ICC
Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya has been allowed to resume bowling in international cricket after remedial work and a reassessment of his action, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Monday.
Dananjaya was reported for a suspect bowling action following Sri Lanka's first test against England in Galle in November and suspended the following month after an independent committee found it to be illegal.
"Following remedial work and reassessment, the bowling action of Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya has been found to be legal and he can resume bowling in international cricket," the ICC said in a statement on its website.
The 25-year-old's remodelled action was assessed in the Indian city of Chennai on Feb. 2 and the amount of elbow extension for his deliveries was found to be within the ICC's permitted 15 degree level of tolerance.
"Match officials are still at liberty to report Dananjaya if they believe he is displaying a suspect action and not reproducing the legal action from the assessment," the ICC added.
Dananjaya has taken 27 wickets in five tests for Sri Lanka since making his debut against Bangladesh in February, as well as 46 wickets in 30 one-day internationals and 14 wickets in 16 Twenty20 internationals.