A second-string Team India is set to tour Sri Lanka for a white-ball series next month. Since Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are in the UK for the lengthy tour, the selectors handed over the team’s charge to Shikhar Dhawan. They also named a number of IPL performers in the 20-member squad.
While the majority of players played for their respective IPL teams in the season, Krishnappa Gowtham was the sole uncapped player who was selected despite not playing a single fixture. Bought by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at a huge price of Rs 9.25 crore, Gowtham warmed the bench throughout the first half of IPL 2021 as the team management banked on overseas Moeen Ali for spin bowling all-rounder’s job.
Gowtham has been a member of India A since 2017 and was with the Indian team as a net bowler during the England series. But he hasn’t played a competitive fixture since March.
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra was surprised with Gowtham’s selection and said that his inclusion is a bizarre thing. Highlighting the fact that Gowtham wasn’t named in the squad for the previous series (against England), Chopra said on his Youtube channel: “He played matches for Rajasthan, his performance was alright, not very good but not very bad as well. Despite that, you have dropped him. What does it tell you? Because where he was picked, Krishnappa Gowtham has been picked now.”
“Krishnappa Gowtham name was not there in the selection last time and it is not that he played a single match of the IPL in between. He was in captain Dhoni’s team but was not played a single match. So that’s a bit of a bizarre thing,” he added.
Gowtham is Karnataka’s front line all-rounder and has also been part of India A’s red-ball teams. He has played 62 T20s, in which he has 594 runs and 41 wickets. Gowtham has a strike rate of 159.24.