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Two teams, two destinations: Indian cricketers ready at two fronts

Written by corres2

After a facile 48-run win in the third T20I against South Africa, Indians are set to travel to two different destinations. The Rishabh Pant-led Indian team is travelling to Rajkot to face South Africa in the fourth T20I. On the other hand, another Indian team will be heading to England.

They will play the postponed Test series decider against England which is scheduled to take place from July 1-5, just three days after the conclusion of the Ireland tour. Both Pant and Iyer are included in the Test squad and will fly directly to Birmingham to play the red-ball game, which likely explains their omission from the T20 team.

Two separate teams for the T20s and Tests could represent the way forward for Indian cricket. The first such instance happened back in 1998 when two separate Indian teams played in the Commonwealth Games and the Sahara Cup. This was the first time when cricket was included in the Commonwealth Games.

The Indian team with Ajay Jadeja as skipper and Sachin Tendulkar, Anil Kumble, and VVS Laxman went to Kuala Lumpur. Simultaneously, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Javagal Srinath, and Venkatesh Prasad under the captaincy of Mohammed Azharuddin were asked to play in the Sahara Cup in Canada. It was repeated when India took on England in the still inconclusive Test series last year, and a separate team – captained by Shikhar Dhawan – played a limited-overs series (3 ODIs and 3 T20Is) in Sri Lanka.

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On Wednesday, Hardik Pandya was named as the captain of Team India’s squad for the upcoming two-match T20I series against Ireland later this month. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be Pandya’s deputy as the vice-captain of the side. Suryakumar Yadav will be making a return from injury while Sanju Samson has also been recalled. VVS Laxman will lead the coaching staff for the tour. India will play Ireland in Dublin on June 26 and June 28 in a two-match bilateral series.

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