The Indian team has reached Sri Lanka in order to play a bilateral series vs the home side. In a short tour of 13 days, India will play two limited over series that consists of 3 ODIs and 3 T20s each. Its a known fact that most of the regular India players are missing from this tour. Accordingly, they are busy in England preparing for a test series vs the hosts which consists of 5 tests.
This will be a unique moment in Indian cricketing history that two different Indian teams will represent the nation in two separate countries. Hence, the Sri Lankan tour will be quite interesting. A lot of fringe players and IPL / first class stars will be itching to go out there and perform well. This will help them to make their presence felt when the senior players are back in the side.
We take a look at the best possible playing 11 for India which is likely to play the first ODI on 13th July.
Top Order :
1 ) Shikhar Dhawan – He is the first player that will be on the team sheet for India. Not only is he the senior most player in the team, he will also lead the Indian side. Having made his debut in 2010, Dhawan missed out on selection in the Indian team for next 3 years. Finally, he got his chance in 2013 and since then, the left handed opener hasn’t looked back. Dhawan has played 142 ODIs with a healthy average of 45 and a strike rate of 94. The southpaw has close to 6000 runs and 17 centuries to his name.
2 ) Prithvi Shaw – Considered as the next big thing in India when he made his debut in 2018. The 21 year old opener hit a century in his debut test, but then his form tapered off. However, he has shown glimpse of his immense talent when he smashed more than 800 runs in Vijay Hazare trophy earlier this year at an otherworldly average of 165!
3 ) Surya Kumar Yadav – The 30 year old batsman from Mumbai made a brilliant debut for India in the T20 format. He smashed 89 runs in 2 innings against a quality English bowling attack that includes a fifty. Moreover, a stellar IPL season means that he is likely to get his chance in the ODI at the much coveted number 3 position. Its the same spot where the regular Indian captain Virat Kohli bats.
4 ) Sanju Samson / Ishan Kishan – This is a dilemma the Indian team will face. Both are explosive wicket keeper batsmen as they have shown in IPL. While Samson has been earmarked as a potential India player since his U19 days in 2014, Kishan is a more recent addition to the plethora of Indian talent pool. Samson averages an ordinary 11 after 7 games, Kishan has played 2 games averaging 30. It will be interesting to see which of the wicket keeper gets a chance to play in the first game
5 ) Manish Pandey – The 31 year old batsman from Karnataka is not a new player for India. He made his debut in 2015 but unfortunately could not cement his place in the side. The right hander has played 26 games over a period of 6 years and has been getting in and out of the team. In the matches he has played, Pandey averages a decent 35 with a good strike rate of 92. He also has a century to his name in Australia vs the home team. This time Manish Pandey will look to seal his spot in the middle order at number 5.
6 ) Hardik Pandya – The big hitting allrounder will look to provide the Indian team required experience. Performance wise, he needs no introduction.
Lower order / Bowlers
7 ) Krunal Pandya – The senior Pandya will look to add up as a spin bowling allrounder. He had his debut in the India vs England ODI series just prior IPL 2021. The left hander made 95 runs in 2 innings with a best score of 58*. However, his bowling left a lot to be desired. His left arm spin could only get a single wicket in 20 overs. Moreover, he leaked 160 runs in his 20 overs. Surely, the southpaw would look to improve his numbers in the bowling department.
8 ) Bhuvaneshwar Kumar – The right arm swing bowler is the most experienced for India in this team. With 138 wickets to his name, Kumar will be the leader of the attack.
9 ) Deepak Chahar – The 28 year old is very similar to Bhuvi Kumar in skills. He can swing the new ball and can bat with competence at number 8 / 9. Hence, Chahar is likely to be the partner for Bhuvi Kumar with new ball.
10 ) Navdeep Saini – A speedstar who can clock it at 145, Saini has played 7 matches and has 6 wickets to his name. He will look to improve his performances and cement his spot in the limited overs side.
11 ) Yuzvendra Chahal – A leg spinner, Chahal should be preferred over Kuldeep Yadav as the lone specialist tweaker. Till date, he has 92 wickets to his name and will be eyeing 100 wickets. Moreover, the poor form of Kuldeep will help his cause in getting preference in the playing 11.