BCCI President in a recent press conference revealed that while India’s main players and Team A will be in England for the upcoming inaugural World Test Championship Final and 5 match test series against England, India’s Team B will tour Sri Lanka for the limited-over series.
Team India’s longest format squad, led by Virat Kohli would be touring to England for a period of 4.5 months starting June, 2021. They would be playing the World Test Championship final in June and the Test series vs England in August and September. So, even though the team would be free in July, they won’t travel to Sri Lanka.
So, we can expect a completely new team with a new leader touring to Sri Lanka for the expected 3 match ODI and T20I series. With the regular players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, etc. may not be able to play the SL series then let’s take a look at who will be the ideal players to replace them:
Openers: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Paddikal
Few of the successful openers from last two IPL seasons, Dhawan, Shaw and Paddikal are likely to get selected for the tour as all of them have impressed cricket circles with the fearless batting they have. Dhawan will be the important player for the squad as he has the international game experience and he is India’s one of the best openers in history.
Middle Order: Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik
India will have decorative middle order in future as almost all of them are power hitting and attacking T20 batsmen with some exceptional talents. Recently capped players Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will definitely make place in the squad while selectors might think about Samson and Pandey for T20 and ODI as well. Hardik Pandya’s appearance will be crucial as Pandya has decided to not bowl in the game and he’ll be now a batsman only. India will need some experience in the batting order and Dinesh Karthik can serve it without doubt, Kedar Jadhav may also be in the list.
All-rounders: Krunal Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dubey, Harshal Patel
Krunal Pandya will be looking for his place in the squad as he is also in the competition for the senior players’ team. Rahul Tewatia who was in the T20 squad against England in the last series of India will definitely be in the squad. Shivam Dubey and Harshal Patel on the other hand can make their appearances in the squad due to their exceptional performances in the IPL.
Spinners: Yuzi Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Rahul Chahar
Looking at these names it doesn’t feel like this is the team B, as the list includes two Worldcup played spinners and one of the successful spin pair in Indian cricket history which used to top all the charts in the past years. Unfortunately both are struggling on the field currently and hence not got selected in the senior team.
But they will be on the tour to Sri Lanka to dominate in the middle overs. Rahul Chahar on the other side has phenomenal IPL seasons in recent years; he can be seen in action.
Pacers: Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Natrajan, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakaria
Team India would be without 4 of their key pacers for the Sri Lanka series. However, two regular members, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar should be the leading pacers for the Sri Lanka series. Barring these two, Team India would be hoping for T Natarajan to get fit for the series. Meanwhile, Navdeep Saini may be slightly off colour since IPL 2020, but given the experience, he should play as the fourth pacer of the squad. Chetan Sakariya is the pacer, who should get a surprise call. The guy impressed everyone with his bowling in the powerplay and death Overs in IPL 2021.
So, that completes the predicted squad for Team India for the Sri Lanka tour. On top of this, it is expected that Rahul Dravid and his NCA supporting staff would also be travelling to Sri Lanka along with the team. As understood, Rahul Dravid would be the Head Coach for the Sri Lanka series. This should certainly please a lot of Cricketing fans.