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New Skipper Shikhar Dhawan ‘Excited’ for Sri Lanka Challenge

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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.

“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.

“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.”

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.

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