SL vs IND: Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan locked in two-way battle for India captaincy

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: May 11, 2021, 06:06 PM(IST)

SL vs IND: Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan locked in two-way battle for India captaincy Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are being touted as the captaincy options for Team India if Shreyas Iyer doesn’t get fit for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka in July.

Veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan and all-rounder Hardik Pandya are being touted as the captaincy options for Team India if Shreyas Iyer doesn’t get fit for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka in July.

India’s limited-overs specialists will head to the island nation to play three T20Is and as many ODIs against Sri Lanka in the second half of July. Interestingly, the big guns like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah among others will be in England for a five-match Test series.

"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 told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

"In case Shreyas was available, he would have been the automatic choice for captaincy."

ALSO READ: Virat Kohli hugged and consoled me when I was crying at my hotel room in Australia: Mohammed Siraj

While Dhawan has been in-form for Delhi Capitals in last two IPLs, Hardik Pandya has come as one of the most important parts of the Indian team in the shortest format.

"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 past eight years," an official 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 options available. He is miles ahead of his peers in terms of being an impact performer. And who knows, maybe extra responsibility brings the best out of him."

ALSO READ: Bamboo bats could be an innovative weapon, but MCC rejects it, says it will be illegal

Hardik was in the squad for the four-Test series against England to monitor his bowling workload but a flared up shoulder and back issues mean he is unlikely to bowl more than a couple of overs in white-ball cricket.

"Hardik, after his back surgery to cure stress fracture, is not the same bowler anymore. He was a fast-medium bowler before injury but to bowl at a brisk 135 kmph plus pace consistently, it could impact his back.

"So he is focussing more on his match finishing skills," a person in the know of things told PTI.

(With inputs from agencies)

Read in App