Team India begin their campaign in Sri Lanka with ODIs starting July 18, and the biggest worry for Rahul Dravid and skipper Shikhar Dhawan would be selecting the ideal playing XI against the hosts. India have a host of uncapped players and the ones who are looking to make a mark, and perhaps cement their spot in the upcoming T20 World Cup team.
That only makes the selection of the team tougher, but Cricketnext attempts to bring out the best possible XI for the first ODI.
Shikhar Dhawan & Prithvi Shaw
Dhawan is the skipper of the side and would be looking to score some easy runs against the Lankans. He averages over 45 in ODIs and would like to improve upon that and is certain to play all the matches as an opener. A ton in the series would enhance his chances of making it to T20 World Cup. On the other hand, Shaw too has shown enough form to play the first ODI as an opener. After a disastrous outing in AUstralia, he slammed over 800 runs in one edition of Vijay Hazare Trophy. If he shines in the 50-overs formats, he will get the nod for T20Is as well.
Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey & Sanju Samson
Yadav has only played three T20I in his career till now, but the confidence he displays while batting in the middle is tremendous. It looks like he will play all the six matches against Sri Lanka, and if he does well, he could be a certainty in the limited-overs formats. As for Pandey, this could be the last chance. The Bengaluru batsman has been on the fringes for years now, but has done little to cement his spot in the team. Talking about T20 World Cup would be a little early for Pandey, and his fortunes seem to rest on this series.
As for Samson, there is hardly any doubt that he is one of the most talented players in the country, but hasn’t replicated his performance in the international arena. He looks like playing in all the ODIs.
Hardik & Krunal Pandya
All eyes will be on younger brother Hardik, who will be expected to bowl in the series. If he manages to prove his fitness in the bowling department, it will be a huge boost for the Indians. He is certain to play all the matches against Sri Lanka, but a lot would depend on how the management wants to tackle his workload.
Krunal did well against England in the ODI series, and will have to keep performing the way he has till now. He too looks like playing all the ODIs and his presence will give a good balance to the team.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Navdeep Saini
Both the pacers are making a comeback into the side after injury layoffs. Bhuvi, the vice-captain of the side has a point to prove, and his aim would be to impress the selectors and make it to the Test side again. He looks like playing all the matches here. On the other hand, Saini has impressed in patches and he will have to be amongst the wickets to be a regular in the side.
Kuldeep Yadav & Yuzvendra Chahal
This series cannot be of more value to Yadav. Last two years have been forgettable for the bowler, but if he manages to get his confidence back, he could well be a game-changer in the T20 World Cup. As for Chahal, he has bowled well, but has been unlucky in the last few series’. If he gets some wickets under his belt, he will become India’s first-choice spinner again.