Cricket fans are eagerly waiting for Team India’s upcoming white-ball tour to Sri Lanka starting in the month of July. The limited-overs fixtures will commence with three-match ODI series on July 13. After the ODI leg, both the nations will face each other in the T20I series consisting of three games, from July 22.
Some star players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, and other aspiring youngsters like Mohammad Siraj, Axar Patel, will miss out on Sri Lanka tour as they will be in England for the five-match Test series beginning in the first week of August.
Ahead of Sri Lanka tour, many experts and pundits of the captivating game have started revealing their ideal squad and playing XI of Team India. Following the bandwagon, veteran cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle has also listed out his 21-man squad along with ODI and T20I XI of ‘Men in Blue’.
Bhogle picked Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw as his opening pair in both ODI and T20I XI. Both Dhawan and Prithvi enjoyed fruitful outings in the now-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.
The 59-year-old went with Suryakumar Yadav and Sanju Samson for number three and four positions, and he interestingly picked both of them in ODI as well as the T20I team. While Surya impressed in his debut series against England in March earlier this year, Sanju had a tremendous IPL 2021.
For No. 5 slot in ODIs, Bhogle selected Manish Pandey as, according to him, the Karnataka batsman has the ability to take the game deep.
“I’m picking Manish Pandey in my 50-over side because I think you need a player who can bat and take the game deep, but I don’t think he’s available for the T20 side,” said Bhogle.
The Hyderabad-born also went with Pandya brothers (Hardik and Krunal), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Deepak Chahar in both formats. In ODIs, he selected the classic Kulcha (Kuldeep Yadava and Yuzvendra Chahal) as spinners.
In T20Is, Bhogle picked Rahul Tewatia as an all-rounder and Varun Chakravarthy as a specialist spinner. He tossed up between Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra as other spin options.
Bhogle named Bhuvneshwar as captain of his squad. He mentioned that Shikhar and Hardik are two other options to lead the side but Shikhar seems to be enjoying his stint as a batter and Hardik has fitness issues.
“I think there is three options for the captain. One is Shikhar Dhawan but I don’t think he wants to be a captain anymore. He just seems to be in such a happy place in life after all that’s happened in the last few years. Hardik Pandya is another option but his fitness is always going to have a little bit of cloud around it. Is he bowl or not gonna bowl, so I’m going with Bhuvneshwar Kumar as captain,” explained Bhogle.
Some other players in Bhogle’s squad who couldn’t find a place in either of the XI’s were Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, Lalit Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jaydev Unadkat and Chetan Sakariya.
Harsha Bhogle’s ODI XI for Sri Lanka tour:
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Harsha Bhogle’s T20I for Sri Lanka tour:
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Tewatia, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar/Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy.
Harsha Bhogle’s squad for Sri Lanka tour:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Lalit Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya.