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Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Reetinder Singh Sodhi. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Arjuna Ranatunga’s Statement Will Not Bother Rahul Dravid And Shikhar Dhawan, Says Reetinder Singh Sodhi

Reetinder Singh Sodhi said that that coach Rahul Dravid and captain Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by former Sri Lanka skipper Arjuna Ranatunga’s statement and that they will remain focused on beating the Lankans.

Sri Lanka legend Arjuna Ranatunga took the cricketing fraternity by storm when he stated that the second-string Indian team touring is an insult to Sri Lanka cricket. He received heavy backlash from his colleagues, including the cricketing board of the country. The latest to address Arjuna Ranatunga’s comments is former India cricketer Reetinder Singh Sodhi.

Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by Ranatunga's statement, says former Indian cricketer(HT Collage)
Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by Ranatunga’s statement, says former Indian cricketer(HT Collage)

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Rahul Dravid And Shikhar Dhawan Won’t Be Concerned With Arjuna Ranatunga’s Statement

Reetinder Singh Sodhi said that that coach Rahul Dravid and captain Shikhar Dhawan will not be concerned by the former 1996 World Cup-winning skipper’s statement and that they will remain focused on beating the Lankans.

While speaking during a discussion, Reetinder Singh Sodhi observed that the Indian management will simply ignore the former Sri Lanka skipper’s comments, who may have to admit his mistake and eat his words up when India wins.

“I feel Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan will not bother about this statement. They will just concentrate on their cricket and beat Sri Lanka hands down. After that when the statement is run, it will be very interesting. Arjuna Ranatunga will have to eat his own words.”

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

India has sent a team of white-ball specialists for the three ODIs and as many T20Is to Sri Lanka. Even though the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ravindra Jadeja, among others, are busy preparing in England for the forthcoming five-match series, the Shikhar Dhawan-led squad has a mix of experience and youth.

Shikhar Dhawan who was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 before it was postponed with 380 runs from 8 games averaging 54.28 will captain the 20 members Indian side. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the vice-captain of the team during the tour of Sri Lanka.

Devdutt Padikkal (473 runs in IPL 2020 and 195 runs in IPL 2021) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (204 runs in IPL 2020 and 196 runs in IPL 2021), Prithvi Shaw (308 runs in IPL 2021 and 8277 runs in Vijay Hazare Trophy), and Nitish Rana (300 runs in every edition since IPL 2017 and 201 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021) have been rewarded for their performances in IPL and domestic circuit.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi: Only 6 Cricketers Can Debut, Others Have Represented & Some Even Played In All 3 Formats Which Bears Testimony Of How Good Team Is

Adding further, Reetinder Singh Sodhi pointed that one should never take their opponent lightly.

“It is said you should never take your opposition lightly. The sort of statements that have been made, there is no need for that, they do not make sense. What we have done in Australia when our main players were injured, these boys were the top performers there,” said former all-rounder Sodhi.

Reetinder Singh Sodhi
Reetinder Singh Sodhi (Image Credit: Twitter)

He concluded his point by reminding Ranatunga about India’s bench strength, saying: “Only six guys can make their debut. All the remaining players have worn the Indian jersey and some of them have played in all three formats. I think this is testimony to the fact how good this team is.”

The first game of the tour begins with the first ODI on Tuesday, July 13. The other two ODIs will take place on 16 and 18 July while the T20Is will take place on 21, 23, and 25 July.

The Premadasa Stadium in Colombo will host all six games. Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham, and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups while spinner Varun Chakravarthy is also yet to debut after missing the earlier two tours despite being selected owing to an injury.

Ruturaj Gaikwad
Ruturaj Gaikwad (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Ruturaj Gaikwad Wasn’t Expecting A Call-up To The Indian Side At The Age Of 24

Ruturaj Gaikwad had some fine mentors right from the time he picked up a cricket bat. From his childhood coaches at the Vengsarkar academy to supportive teammates, the 24-year-old batsman had the right people around him, guiding and telling him the correct things to fine-tune his performance.

For many youngsters, working with ‘mentor’ Rahul Dravid and a couple of IPL seasons under MS Dhoni’s captaincy remains only a dream, unlike Ruturaj Gaikwad who had the privilege of sharing the dressing room with two of the most celebrated cricketing minds. He wasn’t expecting an India call-up at 24 but the youngster has been showing that he is ready for the big leap.

Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK)
Ruturaj Gaikwad (CSK)
(Image Credit: Twitter)

Ruturaj Gaikwad Didn’t Expect Call-up In Indian Side Despite Consistent Performances In The Domestic Circuit

Two years after making his India A debut, CSK batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad has got his maiden India call-up. The Maharashtra batsman is one of the six uncapped players(Chetan Sakariya, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham, and Varun Chakravarthy) who have been picked in the 20-man squad for the limited-overs series in the island nation in July.

Ruturaj Gaikwad scored plenty of runs in the domestic circuit and on A tours before that breakthrough IPL season in 2020. He scored 677 runs at an average of 112.83 in a productive summer with India A after beginning his stint without scoring in 2019. Runs in domestic List A cricket has been a constant for the Maharashtra batsman.

Ruturaj Gaikwad acknowledged the importance of grinding it through at the domestic level but he pinpoints out that the IPL experience is extremely valuable, considering the intensity and the quality of cricket on display.

“Obviously, the IPL gives a different perspective to be able to play such high-pressure games. In domestic cricket, you will get 1 or 2 bowlers against whom you can cash in but in IPL, the standard of bowling and batting is always high.

“You’ll always have 5 good bowling options, even the 6th one might be a good option. So you really need to have a good plan and good approach for tackling them. So playing there, it helps,” he said.

He recalled the conversations he had with MS Dhoni over the last few years while playing for Chennai Super Kings. He has known him from before his CSK days. His Ranji Trophy debut came against Jharkhand in 2016 wherein MS Dhoni was the mentor in the opposition camp. MS Dhoni, in fact, signed on his plaster after the youngster fractured his finger during the game.

Ruturaj Gaikwad Performed Well In IPL 2020 After Recovering From Covid-19 And IPL 2021

Ruturaj Gaikwad recovered from Covid-19 in the UAE before he made his IPL debut for CSK. After a shaky start to his CSK stint, the youngster turned it around with 3 successive fifties, showcasing he can be the next big thing for the franchise. He followed it up with some fine performances earlier this year before IPL 2021 was suspended in May.

Shedding light on a ‘simple and short’ advice from MS Dhoni that helped him reverse his fortunes last year, Ruturaj said: “He said ‘you have already been through a lot due to Covid-19. As a captain, I am not expecting too much from you.

“We have given you the opportunity not to show who you are at this point but to play for CSK, a great franchise, and enjoy your time’ because you’ll never know what will happen next.”

“‘Make sure you enjoy the opportunities. If you’re putting pressure on yourself, you are adding it to yourself. We, as management, aren’t expecting anything, we just want you to go out there and enjoy for now and gain experience. I think it helped me a lot, it helped me relax a little bit and made me feel calmer.”

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Ruturaj Gaikwad said he did not have the opportunity to discuss his senior team call-up dreams with MS Dhoni but recalled a couple of times wherein the legendary former captain had told him to keep dreaming about donning the India shirt.

“Not really we discussed (India hopes) but one or two times he has mentioned that I have the potential and I have the capacity,” Ruturaj said.

“He said ‘you don’t have to think about one particular tournament or one particular season. You have to think of playing for India, you have ample time. You have to keep thinking about it and how you are going to reach there and how you can sustain there’.”

As expected, Ruturaj Gaikwad partnered with Faf du Plessis in the new IPL 2021 season but the opener got scores of 5, 5, and 10 as he struggled to get going before scoring 64, 33, 75, and 4 in the next 4 games. Ruturaj Gaikwad, who amassed 204 runs at 51 in IPL 2020, has amassed 196 runs in 7 games after scoring 20 runs in the first 3 matches.

He fared similarly in IPL 2020 held at UAE where he smashed a hat-trick of half-centuries in the last three games to amass 204 runs averaging 51 in 6 games after scoring just 5 runs in the first 3 outings.

Rahul Dravid
Rahul Dravid - K. MURALI KUMAR
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Rahul Dravid Opens Up On How He Made Sure A Game For Each Player On ‘A’ Tours

Rahul Dravid will be the head coach for team India ahead of their tour to Sri Lanka starting from July 13. Former legendary cricketer Rahul Dravid is widely lauded for his efforts for his great work in the grassroots levels for the Indian team. The former elegant right-hand batsman is also the director of NCA and has shaped a lot of young careers by instilling self-belief and a winning attitude within them as an India A and U-19 coach.

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Rahul Dravid As Coach And India Sending A Team To Sri Lanka Without Frontline Players Impress Inzamam-ul-Haq

Rahul Dravid has also been handed over the role of head coach recently for India’s forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka starting on July 13. He will be in charge of a fairly young squad with Shikhar Dhawan being named as the skipper.

Many countries are envious of the fact that how India has managed to pull this incredible feat by creating a strong B side and sending their players with the first-choice players mostly Test specialists unavailable due to the team’s tour of the United Kingdom.

Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP

Inzamam-Ul-Haq was mighty impressed by this fact of India playing two tours simultaneously and credited Rahul Dravid for his brilliant work at the Under-19 level. The head coach for the Lankan tour opened up about his experience with the A tours and what advice he gave to the players which made them perform well consistently for long periods of time.

“I tell them upfront, if you come on an A tour with me, you will not leave here without playing a game. I’ve had that personal experience myself as a kid: going on an A tour and not getting an opportunity to play is terrible,” Dravid ESPNcricinfo’s ‘The Cricket Monthly’.

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups.

Rahul Dravid Sheds Light On Lessons He Taught To Youngsters At The Under-19 Level

The legendary cricketer also expressed his point on how a player might feel saddened by not getting a look in even though he has performed well in the domestic circuit, Rahul Dravid also made them understand the value of not getting complacent as there is no guarantee in the playing XI for the A tours.

“You’ve done well, you scored 700-800 runs, you go, and you don’t get a chance to show what you’re good at. And then you’re back to square one from the selectors’ point of view because the next season you have to score those 800 runs again. It is not easy to do that, so there is no guarantee you’ll get a chance again.

“So, you tell people upfront: this is the best 15 and we are playing them. This is not about the supposed best XI. At U-19, we make five-six changes between games if we can,” he said.

Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP
Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP

Shikhar Dhawan will captain the 20 members Indian side. He was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 before it was postponed with 380 runs from 8 games averaging 54.28 and he was the 2nd highest run-getter in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 17 games. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the vice-captain of the team during the tour of Sri Lanka.

Prithvi Shaw has earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs). Opening batsmen Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have also been named to the squad for the first time. Devdutt Padikkal (473 runs in IPL 2020 and 195 runs in IPL 2021) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (204 runs in IPL 2020 and 196 runs in IPL 2021) have been consistent since they debuted in IPL 2020 at UAE.

India’s squad: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya

Net Bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh

Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP
Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar Image-AP
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Shikhar Dhawan To Lead, Bhuvneshwar Kumar His Deputy As India Announce 20-member Limited-Overs Squad For Sri Lanka Tour

Shikhar Dhawan will captain the young Indian side in the 3-match ODI series and the 3-match T20I series against Sri Lanka scheduled in the month of July.

The All-India Senior Selection Committee picked the Indian squad for the 3-match ODI series and the 3-match T20I series against Sri Lanka scheduled in the month of July. All matches will be played at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo. They have picked 20 players in the squad with five net bowlers.

Shikhar Dhawan Image Source : AP
Shikhar Dhawan Image Source: AP

Shikhar Dhawan To Lead, Bhuvneshwar Kumar To Be His Deputy In Sri Lanka Tour

Shikhar Dhawan will captain the 20 members Indian side. Shikhar Dhawan was the leading run-scorer in IPL 2021 before it was postponed with 380 runs from 8 games averaging 54.28. Shikhar Dhawan was the 2nd highest run-getter in IPL 2020 too with 618 runs in 17 games. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be the vice-captain of the team during the tour of Sri Lanka.

Prithvi Shaw has earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs).

Opening batsmen Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad have also been named to the squad for the first time. Devdutt Padikkal (473 runs in IPL 2020 and 195 runs in IPL 2021) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (204 runs in IPL 2020 and 196 runs in IPL 2021) have been consistent since they debuted in IPL 2020 at UAE.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana have also found a place for themselves in the squad. Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson are the two wicket keepers who have been included in the squad. Nitish Rana had scored above 300 runs in every edition since IPL 2017 and managed 201 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021.

Chetan Sakariya Included For First Time In 20 Man Squad

Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham have been chosen as the spinners while the young speedster, Chetan Sakariya who impressed everyone in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 where he picked 7 wickets in as many games for Rajasthan Royals has also earned a place in the squad.

Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)
Chetan Sakariya Photo Credit: (IPL)

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, K Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups. Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin department and will have support from the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, and Varun Chakravarthy. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace attack with support from the likes of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, and Chetan Sakariya.

The schedule for the three-match ODI series and three-match T20I series between India and Sri Lanka was confirmed earlier this week. The three ODIs will be played on July 13, 16, and 18. While the T20I series will commence on July 21, and the next two matches will be played on July 23 and 25.

None of India’s players who are a part of the travelling group for the World Test Championship final and the England Test series will be part of the Sri Lanka series. Former India skipper and current National Cricket Academy (NCA) head Rahul Dravid is set to coach the Indian limited-overs team that will play the six-game series against Sri Lanka in July.

India’s squad: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya

Net Bowlers: Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh

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