IND vs SL: Team India’s white-ball team will hit the ground when it tours Sri Lanka for a six-match series next month. Since the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and the majority of frontline players are in England, the selectors announced a second-string squad, which will be led by Shikhar Dhawan. The left-handed batsman will be making his captaincy debut in the series.
The India squad for the Sri Lanka tour will also have a new coaching staff at the helm as Ravi Shastri and his team is in England with the Test side. Rahul Dravid, who was part of the national squad when India played two international matches at the same time (in 1998), will be coaching the national side for the second time in his career.
Hence, it would be interesting to see what strategy Rahul Dravid and Shikhar Dhawan will apply to win the series. On that note, let’s see who is expected to get a chance in the final XI for the ODI series in Sri Lanka.
Openers: Shikhar Dhawan & Prithvi Shaw
Team India is going on a Sri Lanka tour with four openers, namely Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. Being the captain and most experienced player in the squad, Dhawan will definitely make it to the Playing XI. But here comes a question that who should open with Dhawan at the top?
Well, all the remaining three deserve a chance. However going with the experience and recent form of Shaw, one can clearly opt for Prithvi to open with Dhawan. Here it is worth mentioning that Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad are equally good and have done wonders in the recent season of the IPL.
Talking about Prithvi, he has been in a great touch ever since he was dropped from Team India’s squad owing to poor form. After being dropped from India’s squad, the 21-year-old returned to form with a bang in the domestic circuit. His recent stats in the latest Vijay Hazare Trophy 2021 and IPL 2021 are evidence of the damage he has done in the last three months.
Middle-Order: Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson & Hardik Pandya
Well, for the middle order we have got plenty of options in the form of Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, and Hardik Pandya, who is currently not fit bowl and is likely to bat only in the ODIs against Sri Lanka.
Manish Pandey is likely to bat at number 3, given the experience he has while Suryakumar Yadav is expected to come at number 4. The Mumbai batsman has come to the limelight with his aggressive, yet smart, batting. He has been a consistent performer in the domestic circuit, as well as the IPL, over the years. He will be a good choice for the middle-order batsman in the ODI series.
For number 5, the team management will have to make a tough choice as they will choose either Sanju Samson or Ishan Kishan as the wicketkeeper. However, going yet again with experience, Samson is our first choice wicketkeeper. Moreover, Sanju is more suited for the 50 overs format.
Coming at number 6, we have Hardik Pandya, who isn’t yet comfortable to bowl and is expected to perform as a proper batsman in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.
Spinners: Krunal Pandya & Yuzvendra Chahal
Since the conditions in Sri Lanka are likely to favor the spinners, India is likely to line up with two spinners. Krunal Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal are likely to feature in the ODIs against Sri Lanka.
Krunal Pandya recently made his ODI debut for Team India in the home series against England. Although he didn’t have a great time with the ball, he played a brilliant knock of 58 from 31 balls and helped India win the game. Hence, Krunal could get a place in the playing XI because of his all-round ability.
Yuzvendra Chahal will be our second spinner. He has been India’s best T20I spinner and biggest match-winners with the ball for quite a while now. He is expected to be India’s lead spinner once again.
India has named a limited number of pacers in their squad namely Navdeep Saini, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, and Chetan Sakariya. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar have their spots fixed, it has to be one of Navdeep Saini or Chetan Sakariya as the third pacer.
Sakariya has impressed the cricket fraternity with his brilliant spell in the recent IPL season. But when it comes to ODI, Navdeep Saini would be the first choice considering the experience he consists of.