Kolkata: The two white ball series between India and Sri Lanka, to be played in Colombo in July, will see a rare occasion of two Indian teams simultaneously locked in bi-lateral contests. While the bench strength of India will quite comfortably make up for a strong white ball side, a media report say the tour may finally see Rahul Dravid stepping in as the Head Coach as Ravi Shastri will be busy in England.
According to the ICC’s Future Tours Programme (FTP), India are scheduled to play three One-day Internationals and as many T20Is in Sri Lanka in July - a tour which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dravid, currently serving as the Director of the National Cricket Academy (NCA), had been the guru of new generation of Indian talents from their Under-19 or India A days, enjoys a huge amount of respect from the lot but had shied away from applying for the top job of the senior team for more than last five years. However, with Shastri and his entire retinue of support staff then busy in England, the buzz is the Indian board president Sourav Ganguly may have his way in convincing his erstwhile teammate and friend Dravid - along with his NCA support staff - travel to the island country.
While the name of senior opener Shikhar Dhawan is being touted to lead this so-called B team, a host of players like Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav are among some who are available for the Sri Lanka tour. The white ball contests would also be a great opportunity for most of them and make a case for themselves with the Indian selectors with the T20 World Cup coming up in October-November this year.
A media report says the Indian team will reach Sri Lanka on July 5. Three ODIs will be played on July 13, 16, and 19, followed by T20Is on July 22, 24, and 27. All the matches are set to take place in Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.