Team India are scheduled to play a limited-overs series, comprising of three ODIs and as many T20Is, against Sri Lanka in July. As the 24-member Test squad will be away in England at the time, the Indian team for the Sri Lanka series will feature white-ball specialists and upcoming youngsters.
During a discussion on India News, Reetinder Sodhi pointed out that it will be a great learning experience for Hardik Pandya if he is asked to lead the Indian team against Sri Lanka.
“This is a very interesting question. Who will captain – Hardik Pandya? I feel he can be given experience at the helm because he has played very good cricket. The best thing is we have so many options that we can put together a second Indian team,” said Sodhi.
The former India all-rounder lauded the BCCI for envisioning the tour as it could prove to be a great testing ground ahead of the T20 World Cup.
“One team will be playing Test cricket, Virat Kohli and his boys. And the other team will have the likes of Hardik Pandya and Chahal, and aspirants like Devdutt Padikkal and Ravi Bishnoi can get chances. So, it is a very good move by Sourav Ganguly and the BCCI. This tour can prove to be the ace in the pack before the T20 World Cup,” added Reetinder Sodhi.
Apart from Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could also be candidates to lead the Indian side in Sri Lanka. Shreyas Iyer could also be considered for the role if he recovers from his injury by then.
“It will be a great opportunity for the likes of Chetan Sakariya and Ravi Bishnoi” – Reetinder Sodhi
Reetinder Sodhi observed the Sri Lanka tour will help youngsters such as Chetan Sakariya and Ravi Bishnoi to fulfill their dreams of representing India if selected in the playing XI.
“It will be a great opportunity for the likes of Chetan Sakariya and Ravi Bishnoi if they get picked. Generally, we don’t have two Indian teams picked. These players could have played for India after a while but they will get an immediate chance now to get the India cap and to fulfill their dreams,” said Reetinder Sodhi.
The 40-year-old concluded by stating that Virat Kohli‘s eyes will be trained on the Sri Lanka tour even though he will be preparing for the England Test series.
“This tour will be a blessing for all these youngsters. It is possible selectors might be eyeing guys like Harpreet Brar. So, Virat Kohli will be putting in the hard yards in England but his eyes will also be in Sri Lanka because he will definitely want to judge which other players can be considered for the T20 World Cup,” concluded Reetinder Sodhi.
The Sri Lanka tour would certainly provide a chance for the likes of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan to strengthen their claim for a spot in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup. Even veterans like Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal would like to use the Sri Lanka tour to put to rest their fitness and form-related concerns.