India Playing 11 against Sri Lanka: India are expected to hand debuts to at least a couple of players in the first ODI on Sunday.
The ongoing India’s tour of Sri Lanka is the first time when two separate Indian teams are preparing for different formats in different continents. While Australia have done it in the past, it will be quite a sight when Sri Lanka will host India for the first ODI on Sunday.
Senior batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who will take the field as a designated captain for the first time in his international career, will primarily lead a bunch of players who will be looking to cement their places in white-ball formats. Aware that they wouldn’t have made it to this tour in the presence of first-choice players, several capped and uncapped players would want to put their best foot forward in the next two weeks.
India’s 20-member squad comprises of as many as six uncapped players. As far as ODIs are concerned, the number increases further as the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Chahar are also yet to represent India in this format.
India Playing 11 against Sri Lanka
Probably the most simplest of decisions to make in this new squad, Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw should open the batting under normal circumstances. Having top-scored in Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21 with 827 runs in eight innings at an average and strike rate of 165.40 and 138.29 respectively, Shaw’s claim to a batting position will be seldom backed by better numbers.
Suryakumar Yadav, who was in the ODI squad for England series earlier this year, is highly likely to make his debut in the first ODI. Expect the senior Mumbai batsman to bat in the top-order after the openers.
— Ishan Kishan (@ishankishan51) July 9, 2021
Manish Pandey, who had played the last of his 26 ODIs in New Zealand 17 months ago, is most likely to bat at a position where he has scored most ODI runs.
Pandey, 31, doesn’t need to be backed by domestic numbers for he has been there and done that for more than a decade now. Considering how he hasn’t been able to maintain a similar level of consistency at the while playing for India, Pandey needs a few match-winning performances to put his name into contention again especially after the return of regular names.
A significant conundrum for Dhawan and head coach Rahul Dravid will be to pick one between Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan for the wicket-keeper’s role. Samson’s fans on social media will doubtlessly have their reasons to see him making his debut on August 18 but it would be unfair to ignore Kishan’s better List A average and strike rate.
While Kishan can provide a left-handed option in the middle-order, an ODI debut will also be an apt reward for him scoring a half-century on T20I debut earlier this year. For the remaining spots, it goes without saying that Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya will resume their roles from the England series irrespective of the number of overs the former bowls.
Much like Dhawan, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar will also be playing for the first time as a designated vice-captain. For someone who hasn’t played a lot of international cricket in the last year or so, fans would want Bhuvneshwar to relish the extra responsibility in Sri Lanka to once again lead the bowling attack in white-ball cricket.
With India almost certain to play two specialist spinners, one out of Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini will share the new ball with Bhuvneshwar. While Chahar’s last ODI had come in December 2019, Saini’s last ODI appearance had come in November 2020. In the three and seven ODIs that they’ve played respectively till date, both Chahar and Saini are yet to justify their potential in this format.
With Bhuvneshwar already in the XI, India might look to play an express pacer in Saini. Chahar, on the other hand, could be included for his better batting skills in addition to having better control with the new ball.
The first ODI is also likely to witness the reunion of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav as a wrist-spin duo. From Chahal not being as consistent as he was a couple of years ago to Kuldeep Yadav hardly getting to play for India, both the players need wickets under their belt to regain lost confidence at the highest level.
Gossip time 🤣🤣🇮🇳🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/rdgq82cy46
— Yuzvendra Chahal (@yuzi_chahal) July 16, 2021
India’s Predicted Playing XI for first ODI vs Sri Lanka – 1) Shikhar Dhawan (c) 2) Prithvi Shaw 3) Suryakumar Yadav 4) Manish Pandey 5) Ishan Kishan (wk) 6) Hardik Pandya 7) Krunal Pandya 8) Bhuvneshwar Kumar (vc) 9) Deepak Chahar / Navdeep Saini 10) Kuldeep Yadav 11) Yuzvendra Chahal