Monday , June 21 2021

Neither Shikhar Dhawan nor Hardik Pandya: Danish Kaneria names surprise pick as India’s captain for SL tour

India opener Shikhar Dhawan
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

India opener Shikhar Dhawan

The BCCI is yet to confirm India’s squad for their white-ball assignment in Sri Lanka, but the fans have been licking their lips to see a new face taking charge of the side. 

While India take on New Zealand in the much-awaited World Test Championship and England in a five-Test rubber, a new-look squad sans skipper Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rohit Sharma will tour Sri Lanka for a white-ball series comprising three ODIs and as many T20Is.

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Many fans and experts have backed experienced players like Shikhar Dhawan or Hardik Pandya to lead the side in Sri Lanka but former Pakistan tweaker Danish Kaneria has thrown a new name in the mix. Kaneria backed Rajasthan Royals skipper Sanju Samson to be the skipper if the team management plans to groom someone for the future.

“The Sri Lanka tour is a great opportunity for India to possibly find its next captain and groom him. The choices aren’t a lot. In fact, there are only two options. One is Sanju Samson, who has captained Rajasthan Royals in the IPL and looked good behind the stumps as well. The second option is the most senior player, Shikhar Dhawan. He is a senior player in ODIs and T20Is,” said Kaneria on his YouTube channel.

“However, is he a long-term option to lead India in the future? Or Samson has the time and opportunity to improve himself going ahead? Or will Hardik Pandya be captaincy material? All these are tough questions. But as far as I am concerned, I will go with a player who, in the future, can lead India.”

Samson, 27, was given charge of the Rajasthan outfit before the start of IPL 2021. The Kerala batsman took over the reins from Steve Smith, who was purchased by Delhi Capitals in the mini-auction earlier this year. Samson, who also was the top run-scorer of Royals with 277 runs in seven games, led his franchise to fifth place in the points table before the tournament came to a halt. 

“Shikhar Dhawan is likely to get India’s captaincy in Sri Lanka. Not Shaw, Samson… but Dhawan. But if it were up to me, I would have to go with Samson. 

We should be ready, that in the future, if Virat is willing to step down as captain, then he should be the next in line. We have to be ready that if Kohli isn’t around, we need to groom someone. So I would go with Samson but Dhawan remains a strong contender,” added Kaneria, who represented Pakistan in 61 Tests and 18 ODIs.

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