India vs Sri Lanka ODI series is done and dusted as the focus shifts to the shortest format of the game. Both the teams are scheduled to play three T20 internationals between 25th and 29th July 2021.
The upcoming series holds utmost importance for the Indian Cricket Team as it will be the only T20 international series that India will play prior to the start of the T20 World Cup 2021. It’s a golden opportunity for a lot of players participating in the series to make an impact and present their case for India’s T20 World Cup selection. The selectors will also be watching keenly how the players will fare in the series.
Given the fact that India are yet to figure out their best combination for the World Cup, the players would be keen to give their best shot in the series. In this article, we look at our predicted Team India playing XI for India vs Sri Lanka first T20I:
The kind of form Shaw and Dhawan are in, both are certain to make into the playing eleven. India are yet to figure out their possible opening combination for the T20 World Cup. The duo would not only look to score runs but also at a healthy strike rate. Both are in top-notch form as they would be keen to replicate the performances they exhibited for Delhi Capitals in IPL 2021.
It would be tough to decide who will don the wicket-keeping gloves between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson. If you look at the performances in the T20s in the recent past, Sanju Samson might get the nod. For Ishan Kishan too, however, the series holds of equal importance.
Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav are likely to take the number four and five respectively. Manish Pandey endured under-whelming performances in the ODI series. It wouldn’t come as a surprise if the third ODI against Sri Lanka could turn out to be the last one-day international game of his career. Nevertheless, the upcoming three games will be his final shot to stay in the scheme of things.
Suryakumar Yadav, on the other hand, has continued to impress the selectors. He exhibited his wide range of shots in the recently concluded ODI series and was also adjudged the Man of the Series. His ability to score boundaries right from the word go has kept him in good stead.
Suryakumar Yadav has made a place for himself in India’s T20 side. It’s only about solidifying his position from here on. Impressive numbers in the upcoming series could well cement his place for the T20 World Cup.
Hardik Pandya’s fitness has been a big concern for team India at the moment. The Indian all-rounder didn’t look hundred percent while bowling in the ODI series. He didn’t bowl more than 5 overs in a single game and was a lot expensive as well. His numbers with the bat weren’t promising either.
Hardik Pandya, however, has claimed that he is fully fit and will only get better with more game time. It will be interesting to see how he performs with both and ball in the series. Krunal Pandya, on the other hand, is likely to find a spot as well. The all-rounder would give depth to the batting unit and would be handy with the ball too.
Varun Chakravarthy missed out twice while making his India debut due to injury and failing the fitness test. Varun Chakravarthy brings in a lot of mystery in his bowling. He has more than 6 variations in his armoury and is a serious contender for a spot in India’s playing XI for the T20 World Cup. Having said that, a lot depends on how he performs in the upcoming three T20 internationals against Sri Lanka.
Between Rahul Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal, the former might get the nod. Yuzvendra Chahal’s stocks have gone down in the last year or so. He was replaced by Rahul Chahar in the fourth and fifth T20 internationals against England. It won’t come as a surprise if India decides to persist with Rahul Chahal ahead of the first T20 international.
As for the pace bowling department, experienced campaigners in Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshkar Kumar are likely to get the nod. Both are specialist T20 bowlers and are adept at bowling in both the powerplay as well at the death. The duo would be keen to strengthen their case for the T20 World Cup with impressive performances in the upcoming series.
India playing XI for the first T20I:
Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar