May 10 (India Today) – BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said that India will travel to Sri Lanka for a limited-overs series which would consist of three ODIs and five T20Is later this season. However, skipper Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma will not be part of the tour as they will be engaged in a marquee five-match Test series in England.
“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,” Ganguly told PTI in an interaction.
Ganguly said the Indian team for the Sri Lanka tour will have none of the players selected for the England Tests.
“Yes, it will be a team of white-ball specialists. It will be a different team,” Ganguly said, making it clear that the cricket board also has the preparation of white ball regulars in mind.
India’s tour of England will end on September 14 and with the schedule of the remainder of IPL yet to be chalked out, the BCCI would want the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal to be match ready.
“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 while explaining the logic behind the tour.
For the Kohlis and Sharmas, they need not come from the UK, which has in place some hard quarantine rules.
“Technically, in the month of July there are no official senior India team matches. The Test squad will be playing intra squad 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 selection puzzle.”
This will give the team a chance to carry out experiments, like whether it will be Chahal, Rahul Chahar or Rahul Tewatia for the leg break bowler’s slot, if Chetan Sakariya can be tried as left-arm option, whether Devdutt Padikkal or Shreyas Iyer gets fit to play by then.