As Team India gears up for the upcoming Test series and WTC final in England, the white-ball specialists are also getting ready for a T20I and ODI series against neighbors Sri Lanka, at the same time. Already a 30-member squad has been announced for the Tests, while the squad for the Lanka series is also expected to have as many members.
The same was confirmed by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly. “We have planned a white ball series for the senior men’s team during the month of July where they will play T20 Internationals and ODIs in Sri Lanka. Yes, it will be a team of white-ball specialists. It will be a different team.”
The T20I and ODIs will be a huge opportunity for the youngsters, and some players making a comeback, to seal their place in the squad. But it is not as simple as it appears. While all the senior players, coaches and support staff will be busy in England, the BCCI will have to come up with a new skipper, coach and support staff for the team touring Sri Lanka.
For now, there are rumours doing the rounds that head of NCA, and coach of the U-19 and India A teams, Rahul Dravid could be sent as the coach to Lanka with the team. The name of Paras Mhambrey has also been floating around. While no official announcement has been made, it is predicted that Shikhar Dhawan, who happens to be the senior-most player in white-ball cricket, and not going to England, could be appointed skipper for the side.
“Nothing has been finalised yet. The BCCI is looking at multiple factors and a decision will be taken well in time," a Board official said.
Though what is confirmed is that all the matches will be played in Colombo at the R Premadasa Stadium. “We plan to host the entire series at one venue,” Sri Lanka Cricket’s Administrative Committee chairman Arjuna de Silva told Sportstar. “As of now, it has been decided that the Premadasa Stadium will host the fixtures. Obviously, it depends on how the situation is around that time.”