India v Bangladesh: Shivam Dube, Mohammad Naib and other players to watch out for in T20 series

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Dube is set for an India debut. Image credit - BCCI/Twitter.

Plenty of big names are missing from both sides as India and Bangladesh prepare to battle in a three-match T20I series which gets under way in New Delhi on Sunday.

Skipper Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are the big absentees for India, while Bangladesh will be without the banned Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and promising all-rounder Mohammad Saifuddin.

In their absences, there will be a chance for the youngsters and newcomers to leave a mark and there is plenty of talent there for both sides to feel excited about.

Here, we look at six such players from both sides who will be worth keeping an eye on in the three clashes.

INDIA

Shivam Dube

The all-rounder has found chances hard to come by in the Indian Premier League (IPL), but his displays for Mumbai and India A have been enough for the selectors to hand him a maiden international call-up.

With all-rounder Hardik Pandya sidelined for a significant period with a back injury, Dube provides India with a like-for-like replacement who can deliver the big hits with the bat while also bowling some useful medium pace.

The left-handed batsman has a domestic T20 strike-rate of more than 142 and he could be a really handy option to have for India if he can replicate the same at the international level.

Sanju Samson

Sanju Samson gets India recall. Image credit - RajasthanRoyals/Twitter.

Sanju Samson gets India recall. Image credit – RajasthanRoyals/Twitter.

The Kerala wicketkeeper batsman has always oozed talent and ability ever since he broke out as a T20 star in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals. However, consistency has continued to elude him at all levels and that is the reason why he has been able to make just the one previous T20I appearance for India.

That appearance came all the way back in July, 2015 and Samson is now back in the fold after his stunning double-ton in a recent Vijay Hazare Trophy clash. With Rishabh Pant constantly misfiring for India in the shorter formats, Samson now has an excellent opportunity to seize his chance as the team’s wicketkeeper batsman.

Khaleel Ahmed

A second chance for Khaleel to impress.

A second chance for Khaleel to impress.

India recalling Shardul Thakur for the series should be a wake-up call for Khaleel Ahmed who has failed to really kick on in the T20I format. The left-armed seamer has made 11 appearances for India in the format previously but he has been highly expensive with an economy-rate nearing nine.

Ahmed has shown he can be an effective wicket-taking option in T20s with his performances for Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2019, but he now needs to do it for India with time fast running out for the 21-year-old.

BANGLADESH

Liton Das

Das scored his maiden ODI century in the Asia Cup final against India.

Das scored his maiden ODI century in the Asia Cup final against India.

Liton Das’ sublime ton against India in the 2018 Asia Cup final will not be forgotten by the hosts and the Bangladesh opener definitely has the ability to do it on a more consistent basis.

With Tamim Iqbal absent for the series, Das needs to step out from the shadows and play a leading role for the visitors. His T20I strike-rate of 138.22 is an excellent one but he must back it up with bigger scores if Bangladesh are to take anything away from the tour.

He is coming off an attacking ton for Rangpur Division in Bangladesh’s domestic List A tournament and that should stand him in good stead for the series.

Afif Hossain

Afif (l) will look to make the most of Shakib's suspension.

Afif (l) will look to make the most of Shakib’s suspension.

As Bangladesh grapple with the ban to star all-rounder Shakib, it is an excellent opportunity for young Afif Hossain to step up. The 20-year-old all-rounder has already made five previous T20 appearances for Bangladesh since making his debut last year and he put in some promising displays in the recent series against Afghanistan and Zimbabwe.

He can bowl some handy off-spin while he is also a useful batsman down the order.

Mohammad Naim

His recent displays for Bangladesh A have earned young Mohammad Naim a maiden international call-up and the top-order batsman’s good form augurs well for his chances in India.

He registered two well-made fifties in the recent series against Sri Lanka A and the left-hander could be the long-term replacement for Tamim if he can continue to build on his initial promise.

He is only 20 and has plenty of time on his side to further his growing reputation.

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