Priority is to win series and fill the gaps: Dravid

The Indian limited-overs squad leaving for Sri Lanka under Rahul Dravid's guidance has six uncapped players.

Published: 27th June 2021 08:10 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2021 09:40 AM   |  A+A-

Former Indian skipper Rahul Dravid

BCCI appointed former Indian captain Rahul Dravid as Head Coach for the men in blue travelling to Sri Lanka for limited overs series. (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI:  With the three T20Is in Sri Lanka being India’s last limited-overs assignment before the T20 World Cup, head coach for the tour, Rahul Dravid has ruled out any experiments. Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian team comprising of white-ball specialists heads to Sri Lanka on Monday to take part in three T20Is and as many ODIs starting in Colombo on July 13.

With no more international fixtures lined up because of BCCI’s decision to resume the IPL in September, India will head to the T20 World Cup without a chance to field their full-strength squad. That said, India have more or less finalised their squad with only a couple of slots still vacant. With this in picture, Dravid said that winning the series in Sri Lanka takes priority over anything else.

“There are a lot of people in the squad who are pushing for places ahead of the T20 World Cup coming up, but the key goal, and we’ve had discussions around it, is to win the series. That is the primary objective. Hopefully, if people can put in some good performances during the course of us trying to win the series, they will give themselves the best chance of knocking on the doors of the selectors,” Dravid said.

In their last T20 series against England at home, India rotated the players to give a fair chance to everyone. With regulars, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar in England, India can give an opportunity to those in the fray in the island nation. In that sense, the series is important for the likes of Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy to seal their spots.

“These are the only games before the T20 World Cup and I am sure the selectors and management have a fair idea by now on the squad they are looking for. It’s a chance for a few people to push for the one or two spots the management may be looking for, just to give them a few more options over the next few T20s. I’ve had a little bit of contact with the team management in England, but I didn’t want to disturb them during the WTC final, but I will touch base over the next couple of weeks on what their plans are,” Dravid said.

India will undergo three-day hard quarantine in Colombo.


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