In the time of the pandemic, hosting a cricketing event is not a cakewalk now. A board has to manage hundreds of things before, during and after a particular tournament. Keeping a secure biosecure bubble for a long time is not an easy task and we witnessed a failure of it during the IPL 2021 season. As the T20 league has been halted, India to tour England and Sri Lanka simultaneously. Now, Sourav Ganguly has hinted to send a ‘B’ team squad or second-string side on the India tour of Sri Lanka 2021.
The BCCI President, Ganguly has made it clear that it is not possible to host IPL before September. So now BCCI has decided to follow team India’s calendar as it was scheduled. A 20-man India squad that will play the ICC World Test Championship final in England has already been announced. Virat Kohli will lead India against New Zealand in the test starting 18 June. Later, in July India is scheduled for a limited-overs stint against Sri Lanka.
The test squad will stay in England from June to September as the same team will play a 5-match test series against the hosts commencing in August. So India tour of Sri Lanka can only go ahead with the ‘B’ team squad. Luckily, many players made their debut for India amid the pandemic and picking a 20-man India ‘B’ team squad for the 2021 Sri Lanka series should not be tough for selectors. Here we are predicting the India squad which will depart for Sri Lanka in June 2021.
Probable India tour of Sri Lanka 2021 team squad
Shikhar Dhawan: In the absence of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, the most experienced player which team India has is Shikhar Dhawan. Selectors are expected to hand Dhawan the captain’s baton. Dhawan has not yet captained the national side still he has got some experience as he has captained SRH and Delhi domestic team.
Prithvi Shaw: The Mumbai-born cricketer is in tremendous form. He was the highest run-scorer in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy. He scored 827 runs in just 8 innings including 4 centuries in the domestic ODI competition. The 21-year old continued his red hot form in IPL 2021. So far, Shaw has played 3 ODI matches for India and selectors are definitely going to back him for the India tour of Sri Lanka 2021.
Devdutt Padikkal: The Karnataka batsman is another emerging batsman of the country. In just two years, he has become a key player for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He should be a backup opener for Prithvi Shaw in the India B team squad for the 2021 Sri Lanka tour.
Suryakumar Yadav: The 30-year old had made his debut for India this year, all thanks to his consistency in IPL. Yadav hadn’t disappointed the fans in his maiden outing for the national side as he had notched a half-century on his debut T20I. In the absence of Virat Kohli, Suryakumar may bat at no.3 throughout the India tour of Sri Lanka 2021.
Shreyas Iyer: The 26-year old had injured his shoulder ahead of IPL 2021 which led him to miss the initial matches. However, the cricketer is currently on the rehabilitation period post his surgery. Iyer might return to the India squad for ODI and T20 series vs Sri Lanka in July 2021.
Sanju Samson might be the first choice for wicket-keeper
Sanju Samson: The Kerala cricketer should be the first choice of wicket-keeper batsman when picking the India team squad for the 2021 Sri Lanka tour. Samson can bat at no.5 after Shreyas Iyer. He has the ability to absorb pressure and can bat with a good strike rate during the end of the innings.
Ishan Kishan: The Mumbai Indians batsman should be the backup wicket-keeper. However, he can also play just as a batsman. If Iyer will not be 100% during the initial matches, Kishan may get chances to play. There is no doubt that the southpaw can be a lethal weapon.
Probable India ‘B’ squad All-rounders
Hardik Pandya: Considered as the next Kapil Dev, Hardik has lost all-rounder’s tag. Pandya also got dropped from the test side as he is not fully fit to bowl. He has not fully recovered from the back injury which he suffered during the 2018 Asia Cup. Nowadays, the 27-year old is playing just as a batsman and rarely bowls. But there is no doubt about Hardik Pandya’s finishing skills. Team India management should back him to bat at no.6 during the Sri Lanka tour.
Shivam Dube: The pace bowling all-rounder has been sidelined from the Indian team. Dube played his last match for India in February 2020. But as India is in need of a pace-bowling all-rounder, selectors may consider Shivam Dube.
Krunal Pandya: In the absence of Ravindra Jadeja, it will be an easy call-up for Krunal in the India B team squad for the 2021 Sri Lanka tour. Selectors are backing the spin-bowling all-rounder for T20 World Cup.
Rahul Tewatia: The all-rounder for Haryana had become the talk of the town when he smashed 5 consecutive sixes to Sheldon Cottrell in IPL 2020. The all-round performance of Tewatia throughout the 2020 season had earned him a place in the India squad for the limited-overs series against England. However, he had not got a chance but he is expected to retain his place in the second-string squad.
Probable Spinners of India for Sri Lanka tour 2021
Yuzvendra Chahal: Competition for India’s leg-spinner’s spot has now increased. Rahul Chahar, Ravi Bishnoi, Varun Chakravarthy are the emerging wrist spinners. However, management needs to back Yuzvendra Chahal as the main leggie. He is probably the numero uno of India when it comes to leg-spin.
Kuldeep Yadav: The leg-spinner from Uttar Pradesh is going through a drought of wickets. The last two years have not been great for him whether it’s international cricket or IPL. But Kuldeep will go to Sri Lanka in the hope of return back in form.
Rahul Chahar: Mumbai Indian’s main wrist spinner is the most successful leggie in the last two IPL seasons. Rahul has already earned the India cap in March 2021 and is set to continue his stint with team India.
This might be the pace bowling line-up
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The swing king of India has showed a good hint about his fitness recently. The upcoming ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka will be a great opportunity for Bhuvneshwar to cement back his place. His experience should work well for India during their tour to Sri Lanka.
Navdeep Saini: The pacer from Delhi has the ability to clock 150 KMPH. In the absence of Bumrah, Shami and Shardul, Saini will easily book a place in the India squad for the 2021 Sri Lanka tour.
Deepak Chahar: CSK bowler has a chance to revive himself in T20 international cricket. He last played for India in December 2020. He was not given any chance during India’s home series against England. However, he has a mindblowing record in T20Is and is a part of T20 World Cup plan. In 7 T20 matches for India, Deepak Chahar has struck 14 wickets.
T Natarajan: Tamil Nadu pacer is another found for India amid pandemic. Natarajan had donned the Indian jersey in all 3 formats. However, ahead of IPL 2021, he had pulled out of the season due to a knee injury. He may return to action soon and may make it to the India B squad which will leave for Sri Lanka at the end of June.
Harshal Patel: After being benched in most of his IPL career, Harshal Patel is finally caught everyone’s eye. He is currently holding the purple cap in IPL 2021 with 17 wickets in just matches. The performance is enough for receiving an India call-up. Harshal can also play as an all-rounder.
Chetan Sakariya: He is the find of IPL 2021 season. Sakariya was bought by Rajasthan Royals in the auction for his base price of 20 lakh. The 23-year old pacer is the talk of the town for his performances and for his struggles to reach the league. Selectors may include the talented youngster in the squad for the upcoming India tour of Sri Lanka in July 2021.
India vs Sri Lanka 2021 Schedule
A total of 6 matches (3 ODIs and 3 T20Is) are scheduled to play during the tour. All the matches will take place at Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The timing of games has not yet decided. Meanwhile, Indian players have to quarantine for 14 days after reaching Sri Lanka.
|1st ODI||13 July||Premadasa Stadium, Colombo|
|16 July||Premadasa Stadium, Colombo|
|3rd ODI||19 July||Premadasa Stadium, Colombo|
|1st T20I||22 July||Premadasa Stadium, Colombo|
|2nd T20I||24 July||Premadasa Stadium, Colombo|
|3rd T20I||27 July||Premadasa Stadium, Colombo|