While there have been opinions flying about this being a 'second-string' Indian side, for India's vice-captain in Sri Lanka, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, neither of the team is the first side. "I don't think the team playing in England is 'main team' neither is this team 'main'. Both are Indian teams," said Bhuvneshwar while speaking to the press ahead of the series against Sri Lanka. If he was not so modest, he could have added that a lot of the players on tour to Sri Lanka would still be in the side if everyone was available for selection.
Answering another question plaguing the cricket lovers, Bhuvneshwar - like he did in a reply to a social media post questioning his priority a couple of months back - denied preferring a particular format.
"To be honest, there is no priority for me whether it's red ball or white ball, if I am selected in red ball and I am part of any team, I will definitely try to contribute. I am not looking to prioritise white or red-ball cricket. So working on preparing for all formats," said Bhuvneshwar.
While it is clear that India will miss his exploits in England like they did in the final of the World Test Championship, they have a long road ahead in the next cycle for Bhuvneshwar to resurrect his Test career. Apart from playing in England, India are due to tour South Africa and Bangladesh while they will host New Zealand, West Indies and Australia in the second WTC cycle.
As for Bhuvi, he is taking it one step at a time. "I am not looking way ahead, (certainly not 18-20 months) definitely. I will prepare myself for all three formats. As far as I am concerned, injuries are a part and parcel and ups and downs are there but I am satisfied with my career. My endeavour is to contribute as much as possible for the Indian team."
Asked about working with Rahul Dravid, Bhuvneshwar stated: "He keeps things simple. Everyone is listening to him. That's been the case for the last month. We will get to learn more on the strategic part in days to come."
The press conference being on the day of the announcement of the T20 World Cup fixtures which will have India and Pakistan in the same group obviously included a question on that front. "Look, it is always exciting to play against Pakistan and it is always a pressure match, so of course it is going to be, you know, a high-intensity match," Bhuvneshwar said. "But to be honest we haven't really thought about it, how it is going to be, because we have got a lot of cricket left, we have got matches in Sri Lanka, of course Test matches in England and then IPL and then World Cup. But once of course the IPL gets over, we will start thinking about that (World Cup)," said the 31-year-old Meerut-born pacer.
On the young guys part of the tour, Bhuvneshwar lauded the contribution of the IPL to pressure test them for the big occasion. "These are very talented and we have seen them in IPL. I don't think they need much of a guidance. We never tried to make anything complicated. We have Rahul Dravid with us who is guiding them really well. Being a senior member of this side, it is no rocket science that if need be, we can talk to them," he signed off.