Ahead of India’s T20I series against Sri Lanka, captain Shikhar Dhawan made it clear that it will field the ‘best team’ in a bid to win the series. This being the last T20I assignment before the T20 World Cup – which is scheduled to begin in the United Arab Emirates from October 17 – the Indian team management aims to cover all bases.
“We definitely plan to give opportunities to the youngsters. But it is a new series, so we will pick the best team. The aim will be to win the first two games and clinch the series. And if we need to do some experiments in the last game, we will decide according to the situation,” Dhawan said.
After winning the first two matches in the ODI series, India had made five changes to the squad in the final game on Friday and suffered a three-wicket defeat against the home team. “We had already won the ODI series, so in the last game, we could give an opportunity to the youngsters and help them gain some international experience,” Dhawan said.
“It will be a good competition. The Sri Lankan team has improved and they played well. Both teams have young players, so we are looking forward to some exciting contests in the series. Now that we have played three games already, both sides know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. It will be a good challenge.”
No updates from BCCI
Multiple reports suggest that Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal could travel to England to join India’s Test squad, but Dhawan clarified that they have not heard anything yet. “Nothing has been informed to us yet. We will get to know once there is any update from the BCCI management. So in that case, there is no need to change our strategy for the series,” Dhawan said.
With the regular players getting ready for the Test series against England, the limited-overs side features several newcomers – who have proven their mettle in the IPL – and Dhawan believes that they are ready for the challenge. “They performed well and that’s why they are here. They played well in the ODI and that will boost their confidence. We have created a very good environment here and we are looking to do well – not just the junior players, even the senior players will go out there and perform their best.”
On a personal note, too, Dhawan plays to make an impact in the series in a bid to cement his place for the T20 World Cup. “It is very important. Any international match is crucial and when you perform, it makes a huge impact. I want to perform well here and strengthen my place in the team for the World Cup, let’s see how it goes,” he said.
Dhawan congratulates Mirabai Chanu
Dhawan also congratulated weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who clinched a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. “It is a huge achievement to win a silver medal in the Olympics and as an Indian sports person, I am very happy that she has won the medal. As a team, we would like to congratulate her for making the country proud,” Dhawan said.