Predicted India Playing XI: As the core Indian team prepare for the upcoming Test series in England, a second-string Indian side is all set to face Sri Lanka for a three-match ODI series, starting 18th July 2020.
With most of the senior players in England, Shikhar Dhawan has been given the task to lead the side. Besides, there are a few more experienced players in the team namely Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Manish Pandey among others.
India have included a lot of youngsters in the squad, who have performed well lately in both the domestic circuit as well as in IPL. As many as 20 players have been selected for the series and all of them have done well in the last year or so, as far as white-ball cricket is concerned. With so much talent around, there is no denying that picking the playing XI won’t be an easy task for the team management.
On that note, here’s a look at the predicted playing XI of India for the first ODI against Sri Lanka:
Being the captain of the team, Shikhar Dhawan is an automatic pick in the eleven. The southpaw has been given the task to lead the side in the series. He has been in scintillating form of late. He is coming into the series on the back of a superb run in the IPL 2021. He led the run-charts during the tournament, scoring 380 runs in 8 games at an average of 54.29.
Owing to his great run in IPL, Dhawan has once again presented his case for the opening position in the Indian team ahead for the T20 World Cup. Having said that, the upcoming six games against Sri Lanka are going to be extremely important for the southpaw as he would look to make the most of it.
Among all other openers in the squad, Prithvi Shaw is likely to get the nod. In the last one year, perhaps, no other Indian youngster has impressed more than Prithvi Shaw. He became the first player in the history of the Vijay Hazare Trophy to score more than 800 runs in a single edition in this year’s edition. He continued his form in IPL 2021, scoring 308 runs in 8 games at a strike rate of 166.65. Given the intent he has shown and the kind of form he is in, the Indian team management would be looking keenly at how he plays in the series.
Suryakumar Yadav made his debut in the T20 series against England. He announced his arrival with a 57 off 31 balls in his very first innings. It was followed by another great knock of 32 off 17 balls. Suryakumar Yadav has been scoring consistently for the last few years. He had a silent outing in the IPL 2021. The 30-year old is likely to get all six games this time around and he wouldn’t want to miss out on this.
For someone like Manish Pandey, perhaps, the upcoming series will be the last chance for making a comeback in the Indian team. He hasn’t taken the world by storm if his recent performances are concerned. However, being a senior player in the squad, Mandey is likely to make it into the eleven. It will be interesting to see how he fares in the series.
For the wicket-keeping slot, India have chosen two destructive batsmen in Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson in the squad. Both are two of the best ball strikers in the game. However, Kishan endured a mediocre run in the IPL and also holds lesser experience as compared to Samson in international cricket. Sanju Samson has played at lower down the order for the team as India would look to start with him in the playing XI.
The Pandya brothers are likely to fill in the all-rounders’ spots. Krunal Pandya recently made his ODI debut against England in March this year. He played a brilliant 58 off 31 balls and picked one wicket with the ball. Hardik Pandya comes into the team as an automatic pick. It, however, remains to be seen whether he will bowl in the series or not. For India to perform well in the T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya needs to start rolling his arms over.
Yuzvendra Chahal is likely to handle the spin bowling duties. Kuldeep Yadav went for plenty in the ODI series against India and isn’t likely to feature in the playing XI for the first ODI. Also, Chahal’s performances in white-ball cricket have seen a dip, of late. The Indian leg spinner would be hungry to get back to the field and show his mettle.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the pace bowling unit against Sri Lanka. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will remain as the biggest bet for India in the fast bowling department. He took 6 wickets in 3 ODIs against England, finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker.
Chetan Sakariya is the only left arm-seamer in the squad. To add more variety to the bowling attack, the team might want to add a left-arm seamer in the playing XI. Chetan Sakariya, thus, might make his dream debut ahead of the first ODI on 18th July 2021.
India’s predicted 11 for the first ODI against Sri Lanka: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Surykumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson (WK), Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Chetan Sakariya