SL vs IND: BCCI announces new vice-captain in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's absence for third ODI

SL vs IND: BCCI announces new vice-captain in Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence for third ODI

Even vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been asked to warm the benches for the last ODI at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

With India winning the first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, the third and last match is a mere dead rubber. Hence, many expected the Indian team management to test their bench strength. Although a couple of changes were on the cards, the visiting team stunned one and all by replacing as many as six players from their previous line-up. Even vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been asked to warm the benches for the last ODI at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

In his absence, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been named India’s vice-captain for this fixture. It’s indeed a massive feat for Pandya as this is his maiden leadership assignment in Team India colours. He has been doing a commendable job in the batting, bowling, and fielding department. However, his leadership skills aren’t tested much. Not to forget, as many as five Indian players have made their debut in this game.

Hardik Pandya has a point to prove

Hence, Pandya, alongside skipper Shikhar Dhawan, will have the onus to perform from the front. Notably, the all-rounder hasn’t been able to do much in this series. He picked up just one wicket in his two games and there isn’t much to talk about his batting either. While he didn’t get a chance to bat in the first game, the dasher bagged a three-ball duck in the succeeding encounter.

Nevertheless, the Junior Pandya has been a vital cog of the national team for a while and his overall numbers are impressive as well. A fully-fit Hardik Pandya has completed his quota of 10 overs in most of the matches. Although he doesn’t have many variations in his arsenal, the right-arm pacer works within his limitations and has been effective.

On the other hand, his batting prowess has troubled the best of bowlers. The dasher can unleash mayhem in the death overs, and playing calculated knocks isn’t beyond his reach either. Not to forget, the 27-year-old is a live wire on the field. Hence, expectations are sky-high from him in his maiden leadership assignment in national colours. Meanwhile, India have won the toss in the last game, and have elected to bat first.