21-year-old Ravi Bishnoi earned his maiden call-up in Team India on Wednesday night as he was named in the 18-man squad for the upcoming limited-overs series against West Indies. The series, which gets underway from February 6, will feature three ODIs and the same number of T20Is.
Bishnoi was a key player from the Indian camp in the U-19 World Cup held in South Africa back in 2020, where India finished as the runners-up. Following the World Cup, the spinner impressed many while playing for Punjab Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sharing his thoughts on the selection, the spinner credited Kings Coach Anil Kumble for his progress. “I have learned a lot from Anil sir, and those lessons have helped me in becoming a better cricketer. He would always guide me on how to back myself and never lose hope under pressure. Those things were of immense help. He always told me to play to my strengths. The advice was that I should stick to my basics and just execute the plans. There was no experiment. He gave me the confidence to play freely,” the 21-year-old told Sportstar.
Bishnoi, however, is no longer a part of the Kings Unit and will now be seen featuring for the Lucknow Super Giants, one of the two franchises that has been added in the IPL roster. Bishnu was drafted by Lucknow for ₹4 crore, and they also have star opener KL Rahul and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis in their ranks.
Apart from Bishnoi, the series also marks the return of experienced candidate Kuldeep Yadav. The good news for the Indian fans is the availability of Rohit Sharma, who is coming back after an injury that ruled him out of the Test series against New Zealand and the South Africa tour. The 18-man squad also features Deepak Hooda.