Aakash Chopra Picks India’s Squad For Sri Lanka Tour: Shikhar Dhawan to Lead, Hardik Pandya Named Vice-Captain
With India set to set a second team for a limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka in July, there’s a golden opportunity for white-ball specialists and upcoming stars to make their name. Former India opener Aakash Chopra has predicted his India squad for the tour that will see the tourists playing three ODIs and as many T20Is.
In his squad, Chopra has kept Shikhar Dhawan as the captain saying he’s been continuously upgrading his skills and that has been reflecting in the manner in which he’s batting over the past two years.
“Shikhar Dhawan is continuously upgrading his software for the past two years and his batting has been brilliant,” Chopra said on his eponymous YouTube channel. “With him, I am picking his Delhi Capital’ opening partner Prithvi Shaw. The kind of form we have seen from him (in IPL 2021), he should go. I won’t pick Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal.”
“If available and fit, Shreyas Iyer should be part of the team. There are talks of him playing county cricket so there’s that. If not, then Padikkal or Ruturaj. Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan even although Mumbai Indians dropped him halfway through IPL but I will keep him,” he added.
Allrounder Hardik Pandya will be Dhawan’s deputy in his squad. “Hardik Pandya will be the vice-captain of this team. Then Krunal Pandya – he did well against England,” Chopra explained.
Among the bowlers, he wants Bhuvneshwar Kumar to team up with Deepak Chahar and the spin department will be led by Yuzvendra Chahal.
“Yuzi Chahal should be in eleven. Deepak Chahar has been absolutely outstanding with the white-ball. If he bowls alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India’s problem of not taking wickets in Powerplay can be addressed. Both are swing bowlers and can take wickets with new ball,” he said.
“Navdeep Saini is also being ignored for both India and RCB. I will keep him. “Again, there’s question mark over T Natarajan’s fitness but if fit, he must go. Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy are my two extra spinners Prasidh Krishna is also in my team,” he added.
Here’s Chopra’s full squad: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Prasidh Krishna