India vs Sri Lanka 2021: Shikhar Dhawan to lead India in limited-overs

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As Team India gears up for the upcoming Test series and World Test Championship(WTC) final in England, the white-ball specialists are ready for the Sri Lankan challenge as a different lot of men in blue will be flying to the neighboring country for a T20I and ODI series. The BCCI announced the squad for the same, Shikhar Dhawan will lead the Indian side for the limited-overs format.

This is the first instance when two senior Indian men’s teams will be operating simultaneously in bilateral series. Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid is confirmed as the head coach for the tour, although the BCCI did not announce the entire roster of support staff on Thursday when it made public details of the squad, which will have five reserve bowlers.

India will have to field a team in Sri Lanka shorn of its premier players because the main squad, captained by Virat Kohli, is currently in England getting ready for the inaugural WTC final against New Zealand. A bunch of young Indian uncapped players received their maiden call-ups to the national team, figuring in the 20-man India squad for the white-ball series in Sri Lanka, scheduled for July. 

India’s squad for Sri Lanka tour:

The Indian side will be captained by opening batter Shikhar Dhawan, who has never led India previously and have fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the vice-captain. India’s Sri Lanka tour comprises six matches: three ODIs (on July 13, 16, and 18), followed by three T20Is (July 21, 23, 25). Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham, and Chetan Sakariya to represent the national side as they get selected in the 20-member squad.

It is no surprise that four of the five uncapped players (Gowtham the exception) all made strong impressions in the last two seasons of the IPL. Padikkal and Gaikwad have been successful as openers for Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings respectively, while Rana has been regular in the top order at the Kolkata Knight Riders for a few seasons, and pacer Sakariya made an impressive start to his stint with the Rajasthan Royals in the truncated 2021 edition.

India Sri Lanka, Six Sports

The squad also features spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who has been picked for the third time by the selectors since the 2020 IPL. Chakravarthy, was earlier selected for the T20I series in Australia last year but due to a shoulder injury, he didn’t travel. He was again picked for the home T20I series against England earlier this year but failed to clear the mandatory fitness test.

This is the 20-member-squad released by the BCCI for the Sri Lanka tour 2021- Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-capt), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya. Net bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, R Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh.

This squad is a blend of experience and young talent led by a new captain. It will be a challenging task for the skipper to strike the correct team balance and also to lead the team successfully. The team is completely experimental as the big names are missing, it is a great opportunity for a few to prove their abilities and strengths.

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V Nichita
Media student, Aspirant Sports Journalist
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