Split teams for Test and home T2OIs
The BCCI is set to field two teams during the next round of international fixtures commencing next month. One team will play the five-match T20I home series against South Africa and the two-match T20I series against Ireland in Dublin; another will travel to England for the lone Test against England at Edgbaston from July 1.
The Rohit Sharma-led Test squad is likely to leave on June 17 and will take part in a four-day warm-up match against Leicestershire in Leicester from June 24. Head coach Rahul Dravid is expected to travel to England after the T20Is against South Africa. He will, however, miss the T20I series in Dublin on June 26 and 28.
Sources have told The Telegraph that National Cricket Academy chief VVS Laxman will act as coach in one of the series when Dravid will be away with the Test side.
“Laxman is expected to step in for head coach Dravid in some series. It hasn’t been decided in which series though,” the source said.
Shikhar Dhawan is tipped to lead the side in the T20I home series, an arrangement which was followed last summer when the Test side was in England and a limited overs series took place in Sri Lanka. Dravid, then the NCA chief, had been the coach in Sri Lanka as head coach Ravi Shastri was away in England.
India will play five T20Is against South Africa from June 9 to 19. The Birmingham Test is part of last year’s five-match series which India lead 2-1. The last match was cancelled on the opening day after Covid-19 fears gripped the India camp.
The Test match will be followed by three ODIs and three T20Is in England, the team for which will be announced later. The limited overs team will also play a couple of warm-up matches against Derbyshire and Northamptonshire on July 1 and 3.
Few of the players who have impressed during the IPL will get a look-in during the T20I series at home. The same set of cricketers will travel to Dublin.
The likes of Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Tilak Varma and Arshdeep Singh are set to be included against South Africa. Hardik Pandya’s selection could depend on his fitness as the selectors do not wish to rush him into international cricket before having a fair idea of his fitness.
The Gujarat Titans captain hasn’t bowled after the first few IPL matches.
South Africa have recalled fast bowler Anrich Nortje and all-rounder Wayne Parnell, and handed a maiden T20I call-up to batsman Tristan Stubbs for the five-match tour of India, starting on June 9.
Nortje, 28, returns to the squad after a hip injury forced him out of the home series against India and Bangladesh earlier this year. Parnell, 32, returns to the T20 set-up after five years away, having also recently featured in the ODI side following a long absence.
Stubbs, 21, has been rewarded for his fine domestic form this season which also saw him get a surprise call-up to the Mumbai Indians camp.
“Tristan Stubbs is an exciting prospect and we’re keen to see what he’s made of,” convener of selectors Victor Mpitsang said. (Reuters)