Dilip, Mhambrey join Dravid as coaches
T. Dilip and Paras Mhambrey will travel with the Indian team to Sri Lanka as fielding and bowling coaches with Rahul Dravid as the head coach. Shikhar Dhawan has already been named skipper of the tour which involves three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals against the islanders from 13 to 25 July.
Dravid and Mhambrey have largely been expected to be appointed to the support staff, but Dilip’s is a surprise inclusion. The 39-year-old is a fielding coach of the Hyderabad team having previously been associated with the India ‘A’ side also. The MSK Prasad-led selection committee, which had interviewed the members of the support staff for the Indian team in 2019, had rated him highly for his coaching skills. He has completed Level III coaching course too.
The 20-member squad, along with five net bowlers, starts quarantine in Mumbai on Monday (14 June) and is expected to leave for Sri Lanka on 27 June after a 14-day isolation. On arrival in Sri Lanka, the team has been advised three-day hard quarantine, having to confine to the rooms only, and three days of soft quarantine after which the team will be allowed to practice, a source from SLC said.
With no preparatory camp before the departure, coach Dravid is believed to have insisted on practice for at least seven days before the first game on 13 July. No practice matches have been scheduled for the side, but the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) have arranged facilities for intra-squad warm-up games in Colombo.
The BCCI has already stated that all six matches will be played at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo. No fitness test for players Meanwhile, it has been learnt that the BCCI will not be insisting on a fitness test for the players. The relaxation on the fitness benchmarks in the Yo-Yo test and 2 km run is believed to be in view of the pandemic situation and continued lockdown in the country. Otherwise, the selection committee, which has included Varun Chakravarthy, who had twice failed to clear the test in the past, would have insisted on the fitness tests before announcing the squad.