While India’s cream of the crop will be out battling against England in a grueling five-match test series, a special ‘limited-over specialist team is slated to be set up to tour Sri Lanka for 3 ODIs and 5 T20s. While there is no question of the talent present in the second string team, the real problem arises in the prospect of leadership.
Shreyas Iyer, a natural candidate for the captaincy, having already led the Delhi Capitals to an IPL final, will not be available for the tour.
Reports claim that the 26-year-old is still recovering from the shoulder injury he suffered against England in Ahmedabad. After having the surgery done, the T20 World Cup is being set as the target for Iyer to make a comeback.
He is still expected to be out for three more months due to the injury, which made him miss the IPL as well.
The absence of Iyer leaves the captaincy race to two candidates in the form of Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya.
“It is still not clear if Shreyas will recover fully and be match-fit in time for the tour of Sri Lanka. Normally, a surgery of this scale along with rest, and extensive rehab and training to get back in shape requires four months,” a senior BCCI claimed.
The official also added that Iyer was the first choice in terms of captaincy in the absence of the senior players.
“In case Shreyas was available, he would have been the automatic choice for captaincy,”
“Shikhar has had two very good IPL including this curtailed one and being the senior-most among those who are available for selection, he is a very strong contender. Also, he has been a solid performer for India for the past eight years,” an official said
The prospect of handing the captaincy of Pandya was also discussed despite his absence from bowling responsibilities.
“Yes, Hardik hasn’t been regularly bowling for MI or India in recent times. However, he is the man with x-factor and among the options available. He is miles ahead of his peers in terms of being an impact performer. And who knows, maybe extra responsibility brings the best out of him,” he added.
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