The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that the India cricket team will be touring Sri Lanka for ODI and T20I series in July 2021. The Indian squad will not be featuring players who have been selected for the England tour in July-September.
Hence, India cricket team’s superstars like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, who are a part of the five-match Test series in the UK, won’t be in the squad touring Sri Lanka.
"We have planned a white ball series for the senior men's team during the month of July where they will play T20 Internationals and ODIs in Sri Lanka," BCCI President Sourav Ganguly told PTI.
"Yes, it will be a team of white-ball specialists. It will be a different team," Ganguly added.
The Sri Lanka tour has been planned keeping in mind the match-fitness of white ball regulars like Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal and more.
"The BCCI president is very keen that all our top players are match ready and since England doesn't have a white ball leg, the month of July can be utilized well," a BCCI source told PTI.
"Technically, in the month of July there are no official senior India team matches. The Test squad will be playing intrasquad games.
“So there is no harm in India's white ball experts getting some match time and selectors also get to fix the missing jigsaws in the selection puzzle," the source added.
Apart from the white ball regulars, BCCI will get a chance to try out their combinations with players like Rahul Chahar, Rahul Tewatia and Chetan Sakariya with the ball, or the likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav and others with the bat.
While it is yet to be confirmed, PTI has reported that India could play as many as five T20 internationals and up to three ODIs in Sri Lanka.
Featured Image: AFP/ Punit Paranjpe