It has been officially announced that a completely different Indian team will tour Sri Lanka for a three-match ODI and three-match T20I series. In normal situations, there are several candidates who emerge to lead the side. However, captain and vice-captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma both will be with the Indian Test team in England and are unlikely to come back and play this series.
Having said that, among the other players in the Indian domestic and national circuit, there are some candidates who will be overwhelming favourites. With an extremely young team set to go, it will be difficult to have players who are experienced. When it comes to talent, there is absolutely nothing short in India. However, it is the experience that is required.
Here are 3 Players who can lead Team India on the Sri Lanka tour:
1. Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan has been the part of the Indian white-ball set-up since 2010. But, his big break came in 2013, when he emerged as the highest run-getter during the ICC Champions Trophy in England. Since then, he has been a permanent part of the Indian squad. As a matter of fact, Dhawan’s consistency has been one of the highlights of his career.
After his success as a batsman at the international stage, his then IPL franchise, Sunrisers Hyderabad decided to hand him over the captaincy. Dhawan led them into the Champions League T20 2013 along with the 2014 season of the IPL. However, towards the end of the season, the captaincy was given to Darren Sammy. After this, Dhawan never led the Sunrisers Hyderabad team, nor did he lead Delhi Capitals.
In earlier circumstances, Rohit would’ve been available but he has now sealed his place in the Test side. Dhawan has previously served the role of the vice-captain when Rohit has had to lead India in the absence of Kohli. Dhawan was the deputy to Rohit in the Nidahas Trophy and Asia Cup 2018. Hence, the southpaw would be the senior-most player in this side and would be the frontrunner to take up the role.
2. Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey last featured for India during the T20I series in Australia in late 2020. After that series, Pandey was dropped from the Indian team despite having some solid performances under his belt in the IPL 2020 and the T20I matches which were played before that series. But, with the Sri Lanka tour coming, Pandey will be one of the top picks in the side.
Having said that, there is a lot someone like Manish Pandey can offer to this young side which will be going to Sri Lanka. He is one of the most experienced players in the Indian domestic circuit. He has been a successful captain of the Karnataka State team and has even led them to a Vijay Hazare Trophy title and two Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy titles.
Apart from this, Manish also holds a unique record for having the most no. of wins as a captain in T20s in a single calendar year. He won 16 matches for the Karnataka team as the captain in the year 2019. All these captaincy numbers are just a sign of his class as a leader of a team. Pandey may return to the Indian team with a huge responsibility of leading the side.
3. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya is one of the more experienced players in this team. Having not got selected for the Indian Test squad, the Baroda player would be ready to go and prove his strength as a white-ball specialist. Having said that, it is worth noting that in this squad, Pandya emerges as one of the better options to get this job. And there have been reports as well which suggest that his name will be discussed.
If we look at his experience, Pandya has been around the Indian team since 2016 when he made his debut. He might have played only 60 ODIs and 48 T20Is, but there is a chunk of matches that he has missed over the years due to injury. Speaking of the experience of leading, the young all-rounder was entrusted with the responsibility of leading India A once before.
This was way back in early 2017 when Pandya was still breaking into the international stage and had not made his Test debut. He was called up for the India A team which took on Australians who had come to play a four-match Test series. Pandya led the India A in this three-day first-class match. It should be said that he had done the job quite brilliantly on that occasion.
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Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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