India tour of Sri Lanka 2021: Shikhar Dhawan will lead a second-string India team, featuring as many as six uncapped players, in the series comprising three ODIs and an equal number of T20 Internationals starting July 13.
It’s a new challenge, said Shikhar Dhawan as he geared up to captain an India senior team for the first time in his career, confident that the positivity and excitement in the squad would ensure a successful limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka.
Dhawan will lead a second-string India team, featuring as many as six uncapped players, in the series comprising three ODIs and an equal number of T20 Internationals starting July 13.
Ahead of the squad’s departure on Sunday, Dhawan said the two-week quarantine has helped the bonding among the players and hoped that it will reflect in performances on the ground.
“This is a very good team. There is positivity, confidence in our team and everybody is confident that we will do well. There is a lot of excitement,” Dhawan said at the virtual press conference in the presence of tour head coach Rahul Dravid.
“It is a new challenge but at the same time it is a great opportunity for all of us to show our talent. Everybody is waiting (for the tour to begin),” he added.
In the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli and the first side, currently touring England, Dhawan will have pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar as his deputy.
The BCCI named a 20-member squad for the Sri Lanka tour that has all-rounder Hardik Pandya and the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal from the senior lot.
Young guns like Devdutt Padikkal and Prithvi Shaw expectedly feature in the side that also has two wicket-keeper batsmen in the young Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson.
Talking about the composition of the side, Dhawan said: “The boys are doing smart work and are looking forward to these matches. The players have already performed well.
“The team is a nice blend of experience and youth,” said the left-handed opener.
Dhawan also said that his focus is on creating a positive atmosphere and get the best out of the players.
“It is a great honour for me to be the captain of the Indian team and looking forward to it. At the same time, as a team, we are working with Rahul ‘Bhaiya’ (Rahul Dravid).
“I have played under his coaching once for India A, so I feel that we guys sync together, the support staff and the team and we are looking forward to this series,” he added.
Dhawan said the seniors in the team would share their experiences with the new entrants.
“There is a nice blend of seniors and youngsters and as seniors, it is a good opportunity for us, the experience we have gained, be it from our success or failures, we can communicate as we spend time together,” he said.