Shikhar Dhawan: The selection committee has handed reigns of the white-ball team to the 35-year old opening batsman.
Veteran opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan will lead India during the tour of Sri Lanka next month. With the Test team currently in England, Dhawan was expected to be given the reigns. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was not selected for the tour of England, will be the designated vice-captain for three ODIs and as many T20Is in Sri Lanka between July 13-25.
In the absence of multiple first-choice players, the selection committee led by Chetan Sharma has handed maiden call-ups to as many as five players namely Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya.
It is worth mentioning that the likes of Padikkal and Gaikwad have been consistent performers for their respective state teams and India A across formats. Rana, on the other hand, has finally reaped fruits of doing well in the Indian Premier League in the last half-a-decade for Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders.
As for Gowtham, he has been selected as the second spin-bowling all-rounder after Krunal Pandya. Given his dual skills, Gowtham might well be used down the order in Sri Lanka. Sakariya, who had made his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals this year, has also been fast tracked into the national team.
In addition to these newcomers, the selectors have also handed respective comebacks to batsmen Prithvi Shaw and Manish Pandey, wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson and fast bowler Navdeep Saini. Varun Chakravarthy, who had received a maiden call-up before the tour of Australia last year but missed the same due to an injury, has also been included among the six spin-bowling options.
Twitter reactions on Shikhar Dhawan being named India captain:
JUST IN: @SDhawan25 will lead the Men in Blue on the upcoming tour to Sri Lanka 🙌🏼
— Delhi Capitals (Stay Home. Wear Double Masks😷) (@DelhiCapitals) June 10, 2021
— Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73) June 10, 2021
Congratulations Gabbar @SDhawan25 for India captaincy for Lanka tour. Happy for @BhuviOfficial who will be his deputy. Well done Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya for making it to Indian team for the first time. Best wishes to all of you.
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) June 10, 2021
Indian team for Sri Lanka tour – Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vc), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya.