SL v IND 2021: Shikhar Dhawan says India open to try out players Kohli, Shastri have in mind for T20 World Cup

India will play three ODIs and as many T20Is during the Sri Lanka tour.

Team India have picked a young squad for the Sri Lanka tour | BCCI/Twitter

On the eve of the first ODI against Sri Lanka, India’s provisional white-ball skipper Shikhar Dhawan has said that his team management would certainly try out players Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have in mind for the upcoming T20 World Cup, slated to be held in UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.

During the Sri Lanka tour, Dhawan will lead India’s young squad in six white-ball games (three ODIs and three T20Is), which is the last opportunity to check out a few players for the available slots for the flagship tournament.

"I haven't had any specific discussion with Virat or Ravi bhai. But I am sure they must have had some sort of discussion with Rahul bhai and selectors and I am sure we would be conveyed that message," Dhawan told reporters on Saturday (July 17)

"Whoever is playing this series, it is looking at T20 World Cup. Of course, if selectors, Ravi bhai or Virat have some players in mind, we can mutually agree and play that player as this is a good platform. If you want to see someone before World T20, this is the only series you have," he added.

While he didn't disclose the playing XI, Dhawan informed that they have settled on the opening combination for the series.

"We have finalised my opening partner and the team as well, which we are going to disclose tomorrow."

Before departing for Sri Lanka, coach Rahul Dravid had said it would be tough to give opportunity to every player on the tour and Dhawan also echoed the former’s comment.

"No, we haven't yet decided who and how many we will play," Dhawan replied to a specific question on how many among the six spinners in the squad could get a chance.

The captain also made it clear that there will be no compromise in the team's goal to win the series.

"The goal is to win series and the best playing XI will play. Whoever is best spinner will pay. There is no hard and fast rule that we need to play everyone," he said.

Many believe that wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal might bowl in tandem after a long time but Dhawan hinted that Rahul Chahar is also in the contention.

"Of course they (Kuldeep and Chahal) share a great chemistry. They have played so many matches, bowling really well. Even Rahul is a great spinner. We have a bunch of boys bowing well, they are on top of their game and you will see them bowling well," he said.

Having played a lot under Ravi Shastri's coaching, Dhawan is also enjoying Dravid's different style of formulating strategies.

"They (Dravid and Shastri) both have their own qualities and they both are very positive people. I have spent time with Ravi bhai and their ways to motivate are different.

"Ravi bhai's energy is a bit strong, whereas Rahul bhai is very calm, composed and strong as well, so everyone has their own way and I enjoy playing under both of them."

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 18 Jul, 2021

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