Despite being a one-sided fixture, the India vs Sri Lanka 2017 series has still managed to make some headlines, thanks to Virat Kohli opening up about a cramped schedule before the Nagpur Test and highlighting the fact that the team is struggling to prepare for the South African tour for which they will be travelling on 27th December, just a couple of days after Sri Lanka goes home.
We have already told about the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya being rested for the Test-leg against Sri Lanka and now BCCI has decided to give Virat Kohli a much-needed break during the India vs Sri Lanka 2017 ODI series, which will have a total of 3 matches played on 10, 13 and 17 December, followed by a 3-match T20I series which will conclude on 24th December.
After the record-breaking double ton in the India vs Sri Lanka 2017, 2nd Test, which has brought Virat Kohli at level with former legend Brian Lara for scoring the most number of double centuries as captain (5), the Indian skipper will play the final match of series, which the hosts are leading by 1-0, at Feroz Shah Kotla before going on a leave.
On Monday, BCCI announced the squad for the third Test as well as the ODI series against Sri Lanka and while Shikhar Dhawan will make a comeback in the Test squad after opting out from the previous game due to personal reasons, Rohit Sharma will be leading the Men In Blue in the ODI leg of India vs Sri Lanka 2017 series.
Right-arm pacer Siddharth Kaul is a surprise addition to the ODI squad while Shreyas Iyer, who was included in the T20I squad against New Zealand, has also got a call-up for ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Kaul was a part of 2008 U-19 World Cup winning Indian team and has been playing for India A, claiming a total number of 175 wickets in 50 first-class games and 98 wickets from 52 List A (domestic 50- overs) matches. The medium pacer has also been a vital member of Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League.
Indian team veteran MS Dhoni, along with Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Hardik Pandya, has been included in the 15-man squad while the duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have once again failed to feature in the limited-overs leg.
Indian Squad For The Third Test: Virat Kohli (Captain), KL Rahul, M Vijay, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Wriddhiman Saha, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Vijay Shankar.
Indian Squad For The 3-Match ODI series: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul.
Once again, BCCI has given the younguns to a chance to express themselves, keeping in mind the 2019 World Cup and it will be interesting to see whether they will out-class their seniors for the India vs South Africa series that begins from 5th January, 2018.
Virat Kohli & Co. begin their overseas season with the marathon tour of South Africa, which comprises of three Tests, six ODIs, and three T20Is, which will go on until 24th February. This will be team India’s first major tour since their four-month-long stay in Australia in 2014-15 which also included the 2015 ICC World Cup.
As for Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper has finally got the time to recharge his batteries which will definitely prove fruitful on the bouncy tracks of South Africa and against the cruel bowling attack led by Faf du Plessis.