Handed responsibility to lead the Indian team on the Sri Lanka tour, opener Shikhar Dhawan said he feels humbled after being appointed captain of the national side. India will play three ODIs and as many T20s in Colombo starting July 13.
The selectors picked a bunch of fresh faces for the Sri Lanka series as the main team is in the Southampton ( England) for the World Test Championship final and five Tests against England. Former India skipper and NCA Director, batting legend Rahul Dravid will be the head coach of the team.
“Humbled by the opportunity to lead my country. Thank you for all your wishes,” tweeted Dhawan.
Humbled by the opportunity to lead my country ?? Thank you for all your wishes ? pic.twitter.com/SbywALBTwZ
— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) June 11, 2021
The 35-year-old has played 34 Tests, 145 ODIs and 65 T20s.
Shikhar Dhawan (C), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (VC), P Shaw, D Padikkal, R Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, M Pandey, H Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (WK), S Samson (WK), Y Chahal, R Chahar, K Gowtham, K Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, V Chakravarthy, D Chahar, N Saini, C Sakariya
— BCCI (@BCCI) June 10, 2021
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been named Dhawan’s deputy.
Five players have received their maiden India call up for the series including K Gowtham, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Ruturaj Gaekwad and Chetan Sakariya.
Meanwhile, Widely credited for creating India’s talent pool at the under-19 and A level, former captain and NCA Director Rahul Dravid says during his stint as coach with these teams, he made sure that every cricketer who toured got a game unlike his playing days.
Dravid doesn’t travel with the A and U-19 squads any more but it was he who made sure all the squad members played on tours.
“I tell them upfront, if you come on an A tour with me, you will not leave here without playing a game. I’ve had that personal experience myself as a kid: going on an A tour and not getting an opportunity to play is terrible,” Dravid ESPNcricinfo’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’.
“You’ve done well, you scored 700-800 runs, you go, and you don’t get a chance to show what you’re good at. And then you’re back to square one from the selectors’ point of view, because the next season you have to score those 800 runs again.
“It is not easy to do that, so there is no guarantee you’ll get a chance again. So you tell people upfront: this is the best 15 and we are playing them. This is not about the supposed best XI. At U-19, we make five-six changes between games if we can,” he said.
Indian cricketers are now among the fittest in the world but there was a time when they did not have the required knowledge on fitness and envied the more athletic Australians and South Africans, Dravid said.
Now in charge of the National Cricket Academy, Dravid has played a key role in producing the next generation of cricketers and a reserve pool which is the envy of India’s opponents.