India captain for the limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka, Shikhar Dhawan on Sunday termed the upcoming series as a challenge and said the matches in the island nation will provide the fringe players an opportunity to showcase their talent and be in the reckoning for a place in the main team.Also Read - Harmanpreet Kaur-Led India Women's Team Lands In Sri Lanka For White-Ball Series | See Photos
“This is a very good team. There is positivity, confidence in our team and everybody is confident that we will do well. There is lot of excitement,” Dhawan said at the virtual pre-departure press-conference in the presence of head coach Rahul Dravid. Also Read - Harmanpreet Kaur: Sri Lanka Tour Great Opportunity to Build Team
“It is a new challenge but at the same time it is a great opportunity for all of us to show our talent. Everybody is waiting (for the tour to begin). “13-14 days have passed since we are in quarantine, so the players are waiting when we can hit the ground and we have 10-12 days for preparation.” Also Read - Virat Kohli's Childhood Coach Slams BCCI For Not Picking Shikhar Dhawan For T20I Series vs South Africa
In the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli and the main side, who are currently touring England, Dhawan will lead a second-string Indian team in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka next month. Pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be his deputy.
India are scheduled to clash with Sri Lanka in three One-day Internationals and as many Twenty20 matches on the tour that will begin on July 13 and conclude on July 25 at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo. The Indian cricket Board named a 20-member squad that has all-rounder Hardik Pandya and spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Young guns like Devdutt Padikkal and Prithvi Shaw expectedly feature in the squad that also has two wicket-keeper batsmen in young Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson. Talking about the composition of the side, Dhawan said: “The boys are doing smart work and are looking forward to these matches. The players have already performed well, be it in the IPL.
“The team is a nice blend of experience and youth,” said the left-handed opener, who is captaining India for the first-time.