India vs Sri Lanka: Mohammad Kaif backs Shikhar Dhawan’s leadership skills, disagrees with ‘second-string’ tag for squad

India vs Sri Lanka: Mohammad Kaif backs Shikhar Dhawan’s management expertise, disagrees with ‘second-string’ tag for squad

Issues have calmed down for the reason that transient scare over the detection of COVID-19 circumstances within the house staff’s camp, and it appears to be like like India will return to white-ball cricket after a interval of 4 months with the ODI and T20I sequence of their tour of Sri Lanka, with Shikhar Dhawan main a facet primarily composed of reserves with the likes of standard skipper Virat Kohli and limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma away on responsibility in England for the upcoming five-Check sequence.

That does convey to focus numerous elements, together with Dhawan’s lack of expertise main the Indian staff even when he may need captain sides in home cricket and within the Indian Premier League up to now.

Nevertheless, cricketer-turned-commentator Mohammad Kaif, who has seen Dhawan from shut quarters given his place as assistant coach in Delhi Capitals, has backed the Delhi lad to do an excellent job of main a younger facet that has a number of skills, together with some senior gamers with spectacular information who’ve slid down the pecking order in current instances.

“I believe captaining for India is an enormous deal. It’s an honour. He’s very excited to guide the facet and he’s been there for the final a few years. He’s been enjoying the perfect in the intervening time, he’s been unbelievable within the IPL,” stated the previous India batsman in a digital interplay with the press forward of the one-day sequence between India and Sri Lanka.

“This tour as a captain, as a participant, is essential for Shikhar Dhawan. After which the IPL developing within the UAE is essential, as a result of he should be eyeing the spot within the T20 World Cup, and deservedly so as a result of he’s finished so effectively within the final two-three years within the IPL and in home cricket. His greatest was final yr when he bought back-to-back centuries in UAE, and is scoring 600-700 runs within the IPL. So I believe Shikhar Dhawan may be very eager to create an affect on this tour as a captain additionally and as an opener.

Shikhar Dhawan will be captaining India in the absence of Virat Kohli. AP

File picture of Shikhar Dhawan. AP

“Captaincy turns into a bit simpler as soon as you recognize the gamers. Rahul Dravid being the coach, he’ll make sure that Shikhar is comfy. It’s typically simpler to guide the younger facet. All of the gamers they play within the IPL, they hang around. I see Shikhar Dhawan after the match, they sit collectively, have a chat, have amusing, so he’s a really jolly, comfy sort of particular person. He’ll have enjoyable with the boys from the IPL. All of them know one another very effectively. I’m certain he’s going to have an excellent time,” added Kaif.

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The tour might be a vital one to plenty of the gamers as it is the final set of limited-overs internationals that India performs earlier than the ICC T20 World Cup, which has been shifted from India to the UAE. Other than the Sri Lanka tour, the second leg of the IPL, which needed to be suspended after the dreaded virus breached the bio-bubble in India in Could, would be the solely different alternative for the Indian cricketers to impress the Indian selectors together with common skipper Kohli and the staff administration if they’re to guide their slot for the premier 20-over worldwide occasion.

Among the many gamers who might be hoping to bounce again to type within the Sri Lanka tour might be Kuldeep Yadav, who as soon as had a thriller ingredient to his bowling that made him extremely troublesome to learn, however has seen his fortunes dip lately particularly within the house sequence towards England.

Kaif nevertheless, lent help to the spinner he performed alongside within the Uttar Pradesh cricket staff in Ranji Trophy, saying that skills like Kuldeep are uncommon within the sport and wish the total backing together with correct administration to get the perfect out of them.

“Kuldeep hails from UP. Belongs to Kanpur. Has performed a little bit of Ranji (Trophy) with me. You don’t all the time get a bowler like Kuldeep. He has a really distinctive expertise of left-arm chinaman. Greater than anything, captain on the sector, and the coaches, the administration, senior gamers, they’ve an enormous function in getting such gamers to carry out. And it’s not like Kuldeep’s a newcomer to the Indian facet. He has a unbelievable report for Group India.

File image of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Reuters

File picture of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, each of whom might be touring Sri Lanka with the Shikhar Dhawan-led staff. Reuters

“I keep in mind a supply he bowled to Babar Azam within the 2017 Champions Trophy in England. Everybody was praising him and saying India is fortunate to have these sort of expertise. So for such a expertise, it’s is one’s duty to make sure he’s managed correctly. Kuldeep is a superb bowler and may stay up for the tour. This sequence might be essential for him, with Chahal enjoying alongside him. One good sequence can change plenty of issues for you,” stated Kaif.

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The tour has additionally been within the information for the flawed causes, with 1996 World Cup-winning Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga blasting Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for agreeing to host a “second-string” Indian staff and calling it an insult to Sri Lankan cricket. The board nevertheless, disagreed with Ranatunga’s views, as did Kaif, who labelled the Dhawan-led squad a top quality facet with proficient gamers.

“It is a very robust Indian staff. Whether or not you label it a “second string” facet or not, however it’s a superb facet with plenty of proficient gamers a part of this tour. Suryakumar Yadav has been enjoying within the IPL for a few years. Ishan Kishan is in good type. Sanju Samson. Manish Pandey. Crucial tour for Manish Pandey.”

On Rahul Dravid, who might be serving as the pinnacle coach with Ravi Shastri performing the identical responsibility with Kohli and Co on the opposite facet of the globe, Kaif was effusive in his reward for the batting legend underneath whom he performed again within the day.

“Fairly relaxed. Doesn’t complicate issues, likes to maintain issues quite simple. Rahul Dravid has finished an excellent job with U-19 boys and India A boys. Many of the gamers would know Rahul Dravid and the way he reacts and coaches, his type of teaching. Prithvi Shaw was the captain when India performed the U-19 World Cup. So it helps if you recognize the gamers inside out, that helps you in teaching. Folks assume Rahul Dravid will usher in plenty of technical adjustments, however understanding Rahul Dravid, he’ll say “It’s best to know tips on how to rating runs, tips on how to take wickets.”

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As for the health requirements within the present facet, the change in tradition being led to by the likes of MS Dhoni and present skipper Kohli, Kaif — who was among the many greatest fielders of his period and has many a YouTube video documenting his exploits on the sector — expressed happiness within the health requirements of the present era.

“In the event you’re 20 ,22-years-old and unfit, then I’m sorry. On the age of 20, 22, there’s no excuse. However I believe Indian fielding has come a great distance. I believe other than few gamers — I noticed Varun Chakravarthy was injured within the final tour of Australia, he had some shoulder situation. In any other case all of the gamers spend a number of time, they’re consuming the correct of meals, they’re hiring professionals, so it has come a great distance from my era. They’ve turn into far more skilled they usually spare time by way of taking care of their physique and health. However my suggestion can be to search out steadiness. Exercise on the floor, which is the true factor, and discovering steadiness within the health club,” added Kaif.

The tour of Sri Lanka kicks off with the one-day worldwide sequence that begins 18 July — the begin to the sequence getting pushed by 5 days attributable to COVID-19 circumstances within the Sri Lanka camp. The remaining one-dayers happen on 20 and 23 July earlier than the T20I leg of the tour, which takes place on the 25, 27 and 29 of this month. All of the matches might be performed at Colombo’s iconic R Premadasa Stadium.

Watch the first ODI on 18th July 2021 LIVE on SONY TEN 1 and SONY SIX in English from 3.00 pm IST

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