BCCI president Sourav Ganguly confirmed that the Indian team, without its star players, will tour Sri Lanka in July for an ODI & T20 bilateral series
While the biggest names in Indian Cricket, like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, battle it out in the marquee five-match Test Series in England in July, a team of “white-ball specialists” will travel to Sri Lanka for a bilateral series. While no confirmation of dates and venues has been announced, sources suggest that the new-look Team India outfit will play 5 T20s and 3 ODIs versus the Lankans, in what could be an outstanding opportunity for some rising stars of Indian Cricket to don the coveted blue jersey for the first time.
With Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal and a few others missing out on the tour to England, and with the T20 World Cup slated for later this year, “The BCCI president is very keen that all our top players are match ready and since England doesn’t have a white ball leg, the month of July can be utilized well,” a BCCI source told PTI while explaining the logic behind the tour.
A month of the IPL completed, meant that we saw the emergence of some new stars on the horizon, who could get a deserved opportunity for the Men in Blue in the absence of the top names in the squad. Room for experimentation could mean a golden opportunity for returnees like Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, Varun Chakravarthy and Yuzi Chahal to stake a claim in the national T20 side and also precious time in blue for men like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Krunal Pandya and even Natarajan, who is recovering currently from a knee surgery. It could also mean that we see a break for Rahul Chahar or Rahul Tewatia for the leg break bowler’s slot, and perhaps a few debuts handed out on the back of impressive IPL performances to Devdutt Padikkal, Harpreet Brar or young Chetan Sakariya as a left-arm option.
Many eyeballs might be on India’s Test battle in England, but the future of India perhaps lies in this bold new outfit that will look to upstage the big boys as they get a sniff of stardom in Sri Lanka this July.
[Header Image Credit: ANI]