Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya in race for leading India on Sri Lanka tour, says BCCI source

Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya in race for leading India on Sri Lanka tour, says BCCI source

In the absence of Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya are the two strong contenders for the captaincy duties.

Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan
Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

India will be playing a limited-overs series comprising three One Day Internationals three T20 Internationals. A relatively different team will travel to Sri Lanka as most of the regular players will be traveling to England for the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship followed by a five-match Test series against England.

Since both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are a part of the Test squad, it is understandable that a new captain will be seen leading the Men in Blue. If sources are to be believed, Shreyas Iyer will be an obvious choice for the leadership duties as the BCCI is looking at a future leader in him.

However, there is uncertainty over the availability of Iyer as he injured himself during the first ODI of the three-match series against England in March and had to undergo surgery. “It is still not clear if Shreyas will recover fully and will be match-fit in time for the 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. In case Shreyas was available, he would have been the automatic choice for captaincy,” a senior BCCI source privy to selection matters said to the Times of India on conditions of anonymity.

Hardik is the man with X-factor: BCCI official

In the absence of Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya are the two strong contenders for the captaincy duties. Dhawan is in sublime form with the willow as he was the highest run-getter in the now postponed edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). 

Hardik isn’t having the best of the times with the willow. Also, he didn’t bowl for the Mumbai Indians during IPL 2021. However, he is still in the scheme of things for selectors as he has successfully established himself as an X-factor for India and is way ahead of his peers.

“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.

“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 brings the best out of him,” he added.

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