The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced a separate squad of India, which will face Sri Lanka in three ODIs and as many T20Is, all running parallel to India’s England tour.
The R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo is set to play host to all six white-ball games. While an official confirmation is awaited, it remains highly unlikely that crowds will be allowed keeping in mind the Covid-19 situation and the recent mishaps endured by IPL and PSL 2021 seasons.
The ODI series gets underway from 13th July onwards, with the next two fixtures scheduled on July 16 and 18. The three T20Is will be played on July 21, 23 and 25 respectively.
Opening batters Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, pacer Chetan Sakariya and spinner K Gowtham have all received their maiden call-ups after impressive domestic cricket stints and the Indian Premier League 2020 and 2021 seasons, while the board confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan will lead the team, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being his deputy.
As many as five players – Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh – have been included as net bowlers.
Most first-choice players missing from Sri Lanka tour squad
In one of the rare instances of a national team getting involved in different international fixtures, another set of Indians will be facing England in an away series of five Tests. A host of first-choice cricketers including Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, and a few others busy with their UK duties, the BCCI has chosen a second-string squad of sorts, albeit it does not even remotely look that way.
In the absence of India’s head coach Ravi Shastri, and both Vikram Rahtour and Bharat Arun, Rahul Dravid is set to coach the team.