SL v IND 2021: Laxman says he's happy with Shikhar Dhawan as captain; calls this India team ‘formidable’

The three ODIs will be played on July 18, 20 and 23.

Shikhar Dhawan will be captaining India for the 1st time | Getty The Indian team led by Shikhar Dhawan will be clashing with Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the three-match series on July 18, 2021, at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Though many of the first-choice Indian players are in the UK for the England Test series, VVS Laxman called the Indian team in Sri Lanka a formidable one.

Touted as an audition for the vacant T20 World Cup spots, the tour also offers an in-depth look into India's bench strength, which is what interests former India batsman VVS Laxman the most.

"Over the last several months, much talk has centered around the depth in Indian cricket, and the immense bench-strength the country is able to summon. Further reiteration of the surfeit of quality comes in the shape of the white-ball contests in Sri Lanka even as 24 players are away in England for a Test series," Laxman wrote in his column for The Times of India.

The squad has six uncapped players and is captained by Shikhar Dhawan and coached by Rahul Dravid. Laxman said that despite the obvious lack of international cricket experience, the squad has a formidable look to it.

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"There is a truly formidable look to the Shikhar Dhawan-led side even in the absence of several white-ball specialists. I am particularly happy for Shikhar, whose consistency and seniority have been rewarded with the captaincy of the national side," wrote Laxman.

Laxman also said that it is a good opportunity for Shikhar Dhawan to get into a run-scoring form ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021 and cement his spot in the squad.

"It’s a great opportunity for him (Dhawan) to not just showcase his leadership skills, but also nail down his place ahead of the T20 World Cup, given the competition for places at the top of the batting order. Admittedly, while this is India's only limited-overs outing before the T20 World Cup, the immediate focus will be on winning both series in Rahul Dravid's first assignment as senior India coach,” Laxman wrote.

Laxman is happy with India giving opportunity to youngsters | BCCILaxman further wrote that the fact that Rahul Dravid has worked with most of the youngsters in this India squad in the U19 and India A teams, bodes well for the Men in Blue side. He said that the philosophy of the team is a strong emphasis on winning.

"Most players in the squad have worked with Rahul previously, either with India ‘A’ and Under-19 or at the NCA, and have clearly benefited from his wisdom. I am sure they will be better off for this experience because Rahul is a terrific mentor, cricket-wise and beyond. In the past, Rahul has stressed making sure everyone in the squad gets at least one game," he wrote.

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The former middle-order Test stalwart also stressed the fact that the players need to be given a long run in order to prove themselves.

"I’d like to see blossoming talent such as Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, and Ishan Kishan, and the more experienced duo of Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav, being given an uninterrupted run," Laxman said.

He further mentioned that Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal should have an uninterrupted run in ODIs to become more efficient on Sri Lanka pitches and that young Varun Chakravarthy plays the T20I series.

(Times Of India Inputs)


By Jatin Sharma - 18 Jul, 2021

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