A new captain and new coach spearheads the new-look India outfit in a limited-overs contest against Sri Lanka starting Sunday (July 18). The series will comprise of three ODIs and as many T20Is against the island nation whose team is going through a rebuild of sorts.
The players part of the contingent will get some ample game time against Sri Lanka before moving to the next level. The IPL 2021 which hit the pause button, will resume in September later this year.
Ahead of the start of the series, we take a look at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. At the moment, the strengths clearly outweigh any chinks in the armor, but only time will tell how the side fares.
Team India's strengths
#1 Not a second string unit.
Contrary to popular belief, this is not a second string unit. There's enough experience in the form of Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar who in a way are fighting to stake a claim and make their case for the T20 World Cup.
The young blood in the squad get a chance to prove their mettle and will be keen to see what they can do against Sri Lanka. Many of these players were rewarded for their performances in the IPL and domestic tournaments and will be keen to continue their good vein of form.
#2 Rahul Dravid at the helm
Ravi Shastri and Rahul Dravid are as different as chalk and cheese. The latter has had stints as a coach and has tasted victory in key tournaments. His managerial skills will boost India as they will surely adopt a novel approach going into the tournament.
Team India's weaknesses
#1 Lack of big names
With the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and the pace battery of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav in England, India head into the series with key names missing out.
This might just be the motivation Sri Lanka need on to take India on and a spring surprise on their home turf.