India has now two teams preparing simultaneously to compete in England and Sri Lanka. The Indian team, led by Virat Kohli, has arrived in England to compete in the World Twenty20 final and a five-match Test series against England. On the other hand, India’s second team, led by Shikhar Dhawan, will visit Sri Lanka in July.
The Indian squad will play three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty-20 matches in Sri Lanka. This isn’t the first time two Indian cricket teams have traveled to different countries to compete.
In 1998, two separate Indian teams competed in the Commonwealth Games and the Sahara Cup.
The schedule of the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur clashed with the Sahara Cup against Pakistan. This was the first time the CWG was being held in an Asian country. Cricket was also included in the Commonwealth Games for the first and last time. Under the captaincy of Ajay Jadeja, the team with Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, and VVS Laxman travelled to Kuala Lumpur.
The BCCI sent the other squad with Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Javagal Srinath, and Venkatesh Prasad under the captaincy of Mohammed Azharudding to the Sahara Cup. That year the Sahara Cup was organized in Canada.
Team India exited CWG in the group stage
The Commonwealth Games included 16 teams, including Malaysia, Jamaica, Antigua, and Northern Ireland. Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, and Canada made up Group B. These matches were given List A classification, and they were played using a red ball and white uniforms. India lost against Australia, but it triumphed over Canada. Because of bad weather, there was no result against Antigua. India was eliminated in the first leg with one win and one loss. In the last match, Australia defeated India by 146 runs to advance to the semi-finals. Sachin Tendulkar, who had been on a tear in the Commonwealth Games at the time, could only manage 28 runs in three matches.
South Africa won gold in the Commonwealth Games after defeating Australia in the final match.
Pakistan clean sweep in Sahara Cup
Following the Commonwealth Games, there was a lot of debate. The BCCI agreed to send players to Canada for the final two Sahara Cup matches after India’s early departure from the Commonwealth Games. Pakistan, on the other hand, was adamant about not allowing India to field players who were not part of the initial squad. The BCCI had earlier stated that four players would be included in the Indian lineup that would face Pakistan— Sachin Tendulkar, Ravindra Jadeja, Anil Kumble, and Robin Singh. After some discussion, the BCCI decided that only Sachin and Jadeja would travel to Canada.
Pakistan was leading the five-match Sahara Cup series 2-1 at the time. Jadeja played in the fourth match, but the BCCI was embarrassed when it was unable to locate Sachin. Sachin and his family had gone on a vacation to Khandala.
Tendulkar made it to the last ODI, but Pakistan had already won the Sahara Cup after three wins. In this match, Sachin played a 77-run inning, and India scored 256 runs for the loss of nine wickets due to skipper Azharuddin’s century.
Pakistan beat India by five wickets and won the series 4-1 following Saeed Anwar’s 83 and Amir Sohail’s 97.
This time, though, the circumstances are different. In 1998, the BCCI dispatched half of the top players to each venue. However, this time the BCCI has sent its best team, prioritizing the England tour and the WTC final. Sri Lanka will host India’s second-best team.
Indian Squad for Commonwealth Games: Ajay Jadeja (Captain), Nikhil Chopra, VVS Laxman, Gagan Khoda, Robin Singh, Sachin Tendulkar, MSK Prasad, Rahul Sanghvi, Debashish Mohanty, Amay Khurasia, Harbhajan Singh, Rohan Gavaskar, Anil Kumble (Vice-Captain) ), Paras Mhabre.
Indian squad for Sahara Cup: Mohammad Azharuddin (Captain), Saurabh Ganguly, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Rahul Dravid, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Jatin Paranjpe, Nayan Mongia, Sunil Joshi, Ajit Agarkar, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, Sanjay Raul.