As the Virat Kohli-led India Test team prepares to travel to England for the World Test Championship against New Zealand in June, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to form a white-ball team to play a one-day series in Sri Lanka in July. It has been learnt that the BCCI is planning to send another team to honour its international commitments, which have been severely affected by the pandemic.
In that case, who will captain Team India for the Lanka tour? Speculation is rife that it could be either opener Shikhar Dhawan or all-rounder Hardik Pandya. There are also reports that Rahul Dravid might be appointed as an interim coach in the absence of Ravi Shastri.
Accordingly, the team is likely to play three One-day Internationals and three T20 Internationals in Sri Lanka from July 13 onwards.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Prithvi Shaw and batsman Ishan Kishan too could make it to the team, say sources.
The BCCI has not officially announced the tour, but several successful players from the IPL are likely to make the cut.
Besides Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, his Mumbai Indians teammate, could be in the squad. Spinner Rahul Chahar and left-arm pace bowler Chetan Sakariya are serious contenders too.
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s opener Devdutt Padikkal, who plays for Karnataka, could open along with Dhawan. The IANS tried to contact four of the five national selectors but they did not respond till the time of filing of this report.
Dhawan though looks the most likely choice for captain with his experience and the recent form in the suspended IPL, where he represents the Delhi franchise. Dhawan teamed up with Shaw to form a formidable opening pair for Delhi Capitals, who were the top IPL team till the time IPL was suspended.
The 35-year-old Shikhar Dhawan has played 34 Test matches, 142 ODIs and 65 T20 Internationals.
Dhawan was deputy to Rohit Sharma during the 2018 Nidahas Trophy that India won despite the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) resting key players.