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| On May 15, 2021 10:59 AM IST

Shikhar Dhawan or Hardik Pandya: Who will be Indian captain in SL vs IND Series?

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India captain in SL vs IND: Amidst the much-discussed World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and the subsequent five-match Test series against England, India is also scheduled to tour Sri Lanka for three ODIs and as many T20I matches in July, 2021. In an interesting fact, the players who have already been named in the 20-member squad for the WTC final and the following Test series in England will not be part of the Indian team for the Sri Lankan tour and thus, star players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja will be missing. Now, there is a lot of discussion relating to India’s possible squad for the Lanka white-ball tour and most importantly, who will captain the national team.

Who will be India captain in SL vs IND series?

As per recent reports, the major contenders to take over India’s captaincy for the Sri Lanka tour are the trio of Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya. However, there is not much clarity on the status of Iyer’s shoulder injury and he might have to miss the upcoming series against Sri Lanka due to the same issue. A senior BCCI official stated that Iyer’s injury normally keeps a cricketer out for atleast four months and in case he would be available, the right hander will be the obvious captaincy choice.

Related: SL vs IND Schedule for 3 ODIs and 3 T20Is Announced

“It is still not clear if Shreyas will recover fully and will be match-fit in time for tour of Sri Lanka. Normally, a surgery of this scale along with rest, extensive rehab and training to get back in shape takes around four months. In case Shreyas was available, he would have been the automatic choice for captaincy,” said a senior BCCI official in a conversation with PTI.

With Iyer out of contention, the BCCI official also reckoned that Shikhar Dhawan looks to be a strong contender for the captaincy role in Sri Lanka. Dhawan amassed more than 600 runs in IPL 2020 and is also the leading run-getter with 380 in 8 games of IPL 2021. Also, the Delhi-born left-hander is quite an experienced name in Indian cricket with fabulous performances in ICC tournaments.

“Shikhar has had two very good IPL including this curtailed one and being the senior most among those who are available for selection, he is a very strong contender. Also he has been a solid performer for India for past eight years,” stated a BCCI official.

Related: Possible India Playing 11 for SL vs IND Series 

SL vs IND: Can Hardik Pandya be India captain?

The BCCI official also noted that being the x-factor in this Indian side, Hardik Pandya will be competing with Dhawan for the captaincy position. The Baroda cricketer failed to make it to the Indian Test squad for the WTC final and the England Test series much due to his lack of bowling fitness, however, the official hopes that the massive captaincy responsibility might bring out the best of him.

“Yes, Hardik hasn’t been regularly bowling for MI or India in recent times. However, he is the man with x-factor and among options available. He is miles ahead of his peers in terms of being an impact performer. And who knows, may be extra responsibility brings the best out of him.”

“Hardik, after his back surgery to cure stress fracture, is not the same bowler anymore. He was a fast medium bowler before injury but to bowl at a brisk 135 kmph plus pace consistently, it could impact his back,” the BCCI official concluded.

The Sri Lanka vs India white-ball tour will start with the 1st ODI on 13th July while the second and third ODIs will be played on 16 and 19 July respectively. The first T20I will start on July 22 while the second T20I match is scheduled on 24th July. India will play its final T20I in the Lankan tour on 27th July.

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Kuljyot Singh

A cricket maniac who lives his life like a T20 match, time is short so make the most of it. Always thriving to learn more about cricket writing and obviously being an Indian, a big cricket expert.