The BCCI Age of Dominance: A Second-String Indian Cricket Team in Lankan Territory

Shikhar Dhawan gets ready to lead India against Sri Lanka with rigorous quarantine rules announced and three intra-squad matches scheduled.

Indian Cricket Team and England Cirket Team
Indian Cricket Team

The Indian Cricket Team gears up for its limited-overs series against Sri Lanka, it is a limited specialist side lead by veteran batsman Shikhar Dhawan and his deputy Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The team is expected to undergo a 14-day quarantine in India, with a week of hard quarantine and another week of a soft more relaxed quarantine beginning Monday.

Due to the severe outbreak of the Coronavirus in the sub-continent, the Indian Cricket Team is also expected to quarantine in Colombo till the commencement of the series with the first three days being considered as a hard quarantine and measure being relaxed subsequently.

Game Ready

Bhuvneshwar Kumar Yuzvendra Chahal Shikhar Dhawan Team India
Shikhar Dhawan gets ready to lead India against the Sri Lankan challenge.

Since the abrupt suspension of the Indian Premier League in May, a majority of the cricket players have seen a rather slow return to competitive cricket. The game requires ardent focus and practice as middling the ball and returning to peak fitness standards is not as easy as it sounds. Keeping this in mind, the national team is expected to play three intrasquad games as a mechanism of preparation for the tour of Sri Lanka.

The Lankans have confirmed that the Indian players wanted to play practice games against a Sri Lankan side, preferably Sri Lanka ‘A’, however, that was not possible due to the COVID-19 situation in the island nation. Sources confirm that the Lankan authorities have asked the Indian authorities to play intra-squad games keeping the pandemic guidelines in mind. As the situation stands, the Indian team will play three games, one T20 and two one-day games for their preparation to face the Lankan national team.

The Winning Game Plan

Dhawan India vs Sri Lanka
Shikhar Dhawan

The plan for the Indian Cricket Team has a rigorous amount of quarantine for the benefit of all the stakeholders involved. The team is expected to assemble on Monday, 14 June 2021, and begin their 14 days of quarantine with indoor sessions in latter half of the 14-day quarantine. After which they will depart for Colombo and undergo three days of hard quarantine where they will be able to train till July 4.

The series will officially be underway on July 13 in Colombo. Adhering to severe COVID-19 protocols, all of the matches between the two nations will be played at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This will save time and the hassle to shift the teams to a different environment after every game, ensuring the safety of all the parties involved. This is becoming a common technique and solution to prevent the spread of the virus.

A New Approach

India vs Sri Lanka Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal
This will be a big tour for Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal

This series is unique in its own merit and the names who have appeared on the selection list are very worthy of the national call up. In terms of selection news, Prithvi Shaw has earned a call-up to the white-ball squad after his dismal performances in the Australian tour. Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have been rewarded for their form in the IPL. Names like Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar and K Gowtham have been handed chances to secure their places in the limited-overs format for the national team.

This series remains quintessential for the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal since their recent form in competitive cricket has not reciprocated the results which they might have wanted. This is also a series of redemption for Varun Chakravarthy as he was heavily criticized for missing out on a spot in the national team due to inadequate fitness levels and prevailing injuries. A surprise inclusion is that of the very impressive young speedster Chetan Sakariya who has impressed many with this ability with the new ball in the IPL.

Complete Schedule for India vs Sri Lanka series

As for the official schedule, thee One Day Internationals (ODIs) will be played on July 13, 16 and 18. Whereas the T20I series will commence on July 21, 23 and 25. It is a series you would not want to miss seeing a new captain and vice-captain fielding India’s youngest stars against a resilient Sri Lankan side.

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Also Read: ‘It will be a great learning experience’ – Krishnappa Gowtham Excited to Represent Team India against Sri Lanka