Bhuvneshwar Kumar named vice-captain, Chetan Sakariya and Nitish Rana among new faces in the mix
India will have to field a team in Sri Lanka shorn of its premier players because the main squad, captained by Virat Kohli, is currently in England getting ready for the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand (June 18 onwards), which will be followed by a five-Test series against England, starting in August. That makes it the first instance of two Indian men’s teams operating simultaneously in bilateral series internationally.
It is no surprise that four of the five uncapped players – Gowtham the exception – to receive maiden call-ups have all made strong impressions in the last two seasons of the IPL. Padikkal and Gaikwad have been successful as openers at the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Chennai Super Kings respectively, while Rana has been a regular in the top order at the Kolkata Knight Riders for a few seasons, and Sakariya has made an impressive start to his stint with the Rajasthan Royals in the truncated 2021 edition earlier this year.
Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vice-capt), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya
Net bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, R Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh
More to follow…