The India tour of Sri Lanka has not been left unaffected by the Coronavirus. While Krunal Pandya was already confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday, it was later reported that his close contacts including the likes of Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, wicketkeeper-batsman Ishan Kishan, opener Devdutt Padikkal and off-spinner Krishnappa Gowtham will all not be available as they have been into isolation. And now another member is reportedly also on this list and he is none other than the captain of the side Shikhar Dhawan.
A media report claims that even Dhawan won't feature in the remaining matches of the series which throws a big question mark as to who all will be there in the XI and if at all an XI is fielded, who will lead the side for these two matches. It is expected that Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is the designated vice-captain for this tour, will lead the Indian team if Dhawan fails to turn up for these matches due to the isolation protocols.
Ruturaj Gaikwad likely to make India debut
Kumar has picked his rhythm gradually and was the pick of the bowlers in the first T20I, finishing with four wickets for 22 runs and also getting the Player of the Match. However, it is the batting department that seems to be a hard hit. With no Shaw, Padikkal, and even Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad is almost all set to make his Team India debut. But who will be his opening partner?
Perhaps, Sanju Samson might have to come up the order and take the responsibility of being an opener. Meanwhile, the news could also mean an opportunity for Manish Pandey. While Pandey got to play all the three matches of the ODI series, he failed to score a single half-century and would now look to make a case for himself, when he comes in to bat in the T20Is.
Other than Samson, Gaikwad and Pandey, Nitish Rana seems to be the only other batter available for selection and could make his T20I debut after making his maiden ODI appearance in the final match of the 50-over series.