According to reports, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) are likely to choose two separate teams for India’s T20 series against South Africa and the tour of England. The reports also suggest that the coaching staff of the two series will be distinct. While Rahul Dravid will join the Test team in England, the BCCI may ask VVS Laxman to fill in as coach for the T20I series against South Africa and Ireland.
The five-match T20 series against South Africa is set to begin on the 9th of June. While the multi-format players, including skipper Rohit Sharma, are expected to travel to England, Shikhar Dhawan might lead the T20 side against the Proteas. The Rohit Sharma-led Test team, is expected to depart for England on June 15th or 16th.
“We now have a warm-up game against Leicestershire on June 24 before the Birmingham test. Rahul Dravid and team will leave on June 15th or 16th. We will be asking VVS (Laxman) to step in for India South Africa T20 and Ireland T20s,” a BCCI official was quoted saying by Inside Sport.
The selectors have decided to go with a two-squad strategy in order to rest the multi-format players following a busy Indian T20 League season. The top performances from the Indian T20 League will be seen in the South Africa series. Players such as Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik are also expected to return to the team.
This will be the second time that India will opt for the two-team approach. Last year, they fielded a team in England and Sri Lanka simultaneously. However, this time the objective is to give senior players a rest after a hectic schedule and give young players from the Indian T20 League a chance to play at the top level.
Meanwhile, South Africa has named their 16-man team for the T20 series. India is also expected to announce their team on May 22nd, which is also the day the Indian T20 League league stages conclude.