New Delhi: Former Indian batsman Mohammad Kaif feels selecting the wicket-keeper batsman will be a good headache to have for skipper Shikhar Dhawan and coach Rahul Dravid in the forthcoming series against Sri Lanka. Kaif believes Sanju Samson will be preferred over Ishan Kishan for the wicket-keeping role.

Samson has more experience of playing at the highest level and Kaif reckons it will play in his favour. However, Samson hasn’t been able to grab his opportunities so far as he has been a tad inconsistent. On the other hand, Ishan Kishan had scored a fifty on his T20I debut against England.

Both Samson and Kishan have done well while playing in the Indian Premier League and they can take on the attack to the opposition from the get-go.

“It’s going to be a very tough job for Rahul Dravid as a coach and Shikhar Dhawan as captain. There are only six matches and you have a big squad. But I think Sanju Samson has been there for the last couple of years. He has played for India before. He has gone to New Zealand, Australia. He has been captaining Rajasthan Royals too,” Kaif said in a virtual interaction organised by Sony Sports.

“I think in ODIs, Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan would prefer those who have already played for India. The experienced players might get priority in the first couple of matches. Sanju is one of them,” he added.

On the other hand, Kaif added that it will be interesting to note Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness as both of them have been troubled by injuries in the recent past.

“Shikhar and Prithvi have been playing well. Suryakumar Yadav has done really well for India and in the IPL. Then you’ve got Hardik Pandya. All eyes will be on him How he does on this tour. He’s a very crucial member of this team. Being an all-rounder, Hardik hopefully gets to bowl because when he bowls, he brings in that balance to the side. There will be eyes on his fitness,” Kaif added while responding to the query.

“There will be a keen interest in Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s fitness. He was not a part of the Test side. So he would want to put his best foot forward.

The first ODI between Sri Lanka and India will take place at R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, Colombo on 18th July.