SL vs IND 2021 – 1st ODI – Shikhar Dhawan


Limited-numbered captain says no discussions with England squad management on player selection have yet taken place

The competition for the opening slot is a good thing, and the Sri Lanka tour will be a step towards narrowing down a few options ahead of the T20 World Cup, according to India’s alternate captain Shikhar Dhawan, ahead of the first ODI. in Colombo. .

“Every series is important when you play for India and all the players know how important every game is,” said Dhawan. “There is competition for the opening slot and that’s a very good thing. Whoever plays, the goal is to do well as a team. Along the way, if we do that well, then those things [selection] take care of themselves. “

Dhawan also said that he had not had any specific conversations with Virat Kohli or Ravi Shastri prior to the Sri Lanka series, in terms of looking for certain players. At the same time, he was open to the idea of ​​fielding some players through a mutual understanding with the management of the Indian team in England.

“So far, I have not had a specific discussion with Virat or Ravi bhai“he said.” I’m sure they may have spoken to Rahul bhai, or selectors and this message will be sent to us. Whatever it is, the focus is on the T20 World Cup. If the coaches or the team’s management agree that we need to play against someone in particular, this is a great platform to examine them. “

Dhawan was asked about his thoughts on India being referred to as a second string XI by Arjuna Ranatunga, the former captain of Sri Lanka. “If they think it’s a second team, that’s their feeling,” he laughed. “We are here to play in Sri Lanka, it counts as an international game, and we are here to seize the opportunities.”
The Indian captain was shy when asked about his opening partner. India has the choice between Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad. It’s likely Shaw could get the first chance, having entered the tour following a prolific whiteball cricket race this year.

The 837 runs Shaw completed in the victorious Mumbai run, including three scores over 150, are the largest in Vijay Hazare Trophy history, and Shaw also continued his sparkling form in the IPL. Padikkal, the left-handed opener, finished second in the Hazare Trophy with 737 runs, thanks to four consecutive A-List centuries. He followed that up with an excellent IPL season for the Royal Challengers Bangalore before the season was postponed due to the pandemic.

All Dhawan has revealed, however, is that the player has been identified and will only be revealed on match day. The Indian captain also hoped Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal would play well in tandem. The two haven’t played together since the 2019 World Cup in England.
“They both share a great chemistry and have won so many games and series for us,” he said. “They play very well at bowling. Even Rahul Chahar, he’s a great spinner. We have a group of really good spinners, who all bowling well and are in top form and shape.”

Dhawan was then a little intrigued with India’s six spin bowling options – the others are Krunal Pandya and the uncapped duo of Varun Chakravarthy and K Gowtham – and if they intended to consider them all at one. given moment.

“We haven’t really discussed who gets how many games,” he said. “The first objective is to win the series and we will play the best XI to win. We will choose the one that we think can do well [on a given day]. it’s not like we have to play against everyone just because we brought them here. It is not the thought process. “

Dhawan was very happy to have been able to spend time with the young players. The group spent two weeks in Mumbai and spent three weeks in Colombo, bonding on and off the pitch, in addition to playing a few practice matches. In a video posted on social media, Dhawan was even seen playing the flute with Shaw singing.

“I interacted with all of my young colleagues,” he said with a smile. “It’s good to know them personally, to see their skills in the net. It’s great to be connected to them – [Sandeep] Warrior, [Ishan] Porel, Akshdeep [Singh] and all the other young people. There is a great atmosphere in the team. it’s been a month now [that they have been together]. “

Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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