India will face Sri Lanka in the coming days for a bilateral series that comprises six limited-over games. The three ODIs and three T20s will be everything the teams need to gear up for. This month-long tour of India in Sri Lanka will be the very first one after 2017.
Tour News And Its Postponement
The Indian cricket team has already traveled to Sri Lanka to quarantine themselves before they start training. Although everything might have been running as per schedule, a Covid-19 outbreak in the Sri Lankan camp was not anticipated. The first ODI that would have marked the inaugural of the series should have originally kicked off from 13th July but has now been postponed to 17th. Nevertheless, necessary precautions and actions have been taken. The Sri Lankan cricket team has been quarantined and will undergo a fresh set of RT-PCR tests before they get themselves match-ready.
An Experimental Indian Squad
A match or a bilateral series between these two sides has always been an exciting affair and has offered a good number of adventurous and close-call innings in the past. Likewise, this time it is no different. The six-match limited-overs series in Sri Lanka will not include the regular first-team players in the squad but a group of young professionals considered white-ball experts. The likes of Rohit Sharma and captain Virat Kohli are not included in the squad.
The reason the BCCI had to pick a less experienced team for an international series as big as this is the India tour of England in August. India has already finished playing the WTC final and cannot head to Sri Lanka for another series as they have to prepare for the five-match test series against England in August. This hectic schedule of ICC makes it more and more difficult for the first-team players to be present in Sri Lanka. However, BCCI is very confident in its team selection. They believe this tour will be an eye-opener for them as they will be able to identify the capabilities of these players in the big pool of talent. Rahul Dravid, the former captain; and u-19 coach will lead this team in Sri Lanka in the absence of Ravi Shastri.
To fill the shoes of Virat Kohli on the pitch; Shikhar Dhawan has been asked to take the mantle along with the right-handed fast bowler Bhuvaneshwar Kumar as vice-captain.
The Vice Captain’s Backing
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar who has been instrumental for team India since his introduction in the squad will get to wear his experience up his sleeve on and off the pitch. In this series, the deputy to Shikar Dhawan believes that his young and talented squad will be key to their success in the series. The players who have earned their maiden call-ups for the series have been freshly hand-picked looking at their performances at IPL and domestic level. Kumar understands that it will favor the team if these players carry the form and confidence they had in the Indian Premier League. More so it will bolster their confidence if they can perform well in the series.
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who was not called up for the ICC Men’s World Test Championship Final and the England Tour, has had his injuries. The right-handed seamer who form the face of the bowling attack along with Mohammed Shami had to undergo a long lay-off from the game after the England Tour of India earlier this year. The player was not completely match-fit from thigh muscle injury which he suffered in the previous IPL when he got his call for the series. To regain his fitness and confidence Kumar has been playing domestic cricket for Uttar Pradesh.
As much as this tour sounds like an opportunity for these youngsters; they will be under immense pressure playing in Sri Lanka. A good performance could mean a ticket to the ICC Men’s 20-over World Cup in September. Players like Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, and Chahal who are not part of the England tour; will get a final chance to catch the selector’s eye before the ICC Men’s 20-over World Cup starts. Players such as Sanju Samson, Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, Devdutt Paddikal who work hard in domestic cricket and IPL will now have an entire series to prove a point and showcase their abilities.