India captain vs Sri Lanka: The Indian cricket team is almost certain of having a new white-ball captain for the upcoming series.
The upcoming India’s tour of Sri Lanka will register a rare occasion of two totally different Indian national squads playing in two different formats in England and Sri Lanka respectively.
While all the first-choice players will be in England after the ICC World Test Championship final preparing for a five-match Test series against England, a lot of other prominent names will be in Sri Lanka for three ODIs and as many T20Is.
With the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Lokesh Rahul scheduled to travel to England, India will also have a new white-ball captain for the Sri Lanka tour. According to reports, one out of Shikhar Dhawan or Hardik Pandya are highly likely to be handed the reigns of the white-ball team.
“Shikhar [Dhawan] has had two very good IPLs [for Delhi Capitals] including this curtailed one and being the senior most among those who are available for selection, he is a very strong contender. Also, he has been a solid performer for India for past eight years,” a senior BCCI source privy to the developments was quoted as saying by PTI.
— Ramesh Bala (@rameshlaus) May 10, 2021
Dhawan, who has represented India in 241 matches across formats, has played at the highest level under five different captains but never led himself barring for a brief period in a match when the designated captain wasn’t on the field. On a similar note, the 35-year old player had led Capitals when Shreyas Iyer had suffered an injury in IPL 2020.
India captain vs Sri Lanka
Much like Dhawan, Pandya has also played all of his 119 matches across formats as a non-captain. Unlike Dhawan, Pandya doesn’t even have the experience of leading an IPL team. That being said, a confirmed name in India’s white-ball teams, Pandya could be given the additional responsibility on an experiment basis.
“Yes, Hardik [Pandya] hasn”t been regularly bowling for MI or India in recent times. However, he is the man with x-factor and among options available. He is miles ahead of his peers in terms of being an impact performer. And who knows, may be extra responsibility brings the best out of him,” the source said.
Another name which is emerging for the race of leading India is Capitals captain Shreyas Iyer. Far less experienced than both Dhawan and Pandya, Iyer has impressed one and all with his leadership in the IPL. Iyer, who missed IPL 2021 due to a dislocated shoulder, remains in doubt with respect to recovering in time for the tour of Sri Lanka.
“It is still not clear if Shreyas [Iyer] will recover fully and will be match-fit in time for tour of Sri Lanka. Normally, a surgery of this scale along with rest, extensive rehab and training to get back in shape takes around four months. In case Shreyas was available, he would have been the automatic choice for captaincy,” the source added.