Team India will travel to feature in a series of three ODIs and as many T20Is with a squad consisting of white-ball specialists and upcoming youngsters as the senior team led by Virat Kohli will be in England at the same time.
And, so, if Shreyas Iyer fails to recover from his injury, then it’s only natural that one of Shikhar Dhawan or Hardik Pandya will lead the playing 11, said a senior BCCI official as quoted by PTI.
“It is still not clear if Shreyas will recover fully and will be match-fit in time for tour of Sri Lanka. Normally, a surgery of this scale along with rest, extensive rehab and training to get back in shape takes around four months,” a senior BCCI source privy to selection matters was quoted as saying by PTI.
“In case Shreyas was available, he would have been the automatic choice for captaincy,” he added.
Shikhar Dhawan has been in brilliant form in the past couple of seasons. The southpaw has changed his T20 game dramatically in the last 24 months and he is easily the best Indian batsmen on show in the cash-rich league currently.
”Shikhar has had two very good IPL including this curtailed one and being the senior-most among those who are available for selection, he is a very strong contender. Also, he has been a solid performer for India for the past eight years,” an official said.
And, while Hardik Pandya no longer bowls, the official added that the Baroda cricketer’s match-winning ability with the bat cannot be discounted.
“As far as Hardik is concerned, his reputation as a white-ball match-winner can’t be discounted either,” he said. ”Yes, Hardik hasn’t been regularly bowling for MI or India in recent times. However, he is the man with x-factor and among the options available. He is miles ahead of his peers in terms of being an impact performer. And who knows, maybe extra responsibility,” the BCCI official added.