SL vs IND: India’s Predicted Playing XI for 2nd T20I if Krunal Pandya's close contacts are unavailable

Not a Playing XI Indian fans would like to see.

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Indian Cricket Team
Indian Cricket Team. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP via Getty Images)

A second-stringed Indian team hasn’t done much wrong in the ongoing Sri Lanka tour. After clinching the ODI series 2-1, the visitors walked away with a 38-run triumph in the first T20I. However, the going might not be that smooth for India in the remaining two T20Is with the participation of several players under dark clouds. All-rounder Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 and got ruled out of the entire series.

Furthermore, eight players were identified close to the southpaw, and subsequently, they also underwent RT-PCR tests. Fortunately for the visiting team, no other player tested positive for the virus besides Krunal. However, this doesn’t end Team India’s problems. It is learnt that those eight players won’t feature in the second T20I on Wednesday (July 28) due to safety concerns. This means nine players from the squad won’t be available for the upcoming game.

While any official announcement is yet to come, Sports Tak reported the names of those eight players close to Krunal. They are Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey. Except for Pandey and Gowtham, all the players participated in the first T20I. This means India will have to make at least seven changes if these names are unavailable.

Only four batters in the team

In that case, it would be interesting to see how India’s playing XI looks. Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, and Nitish Rana are the only batters left in the remaining squad and they would be sure starters. This means India would be forced to field seven bowlers. Hence, the tale would be exposed if the third wicket falls.

Vice-captain of the original squad, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will have to lead the team in this case and he’ll have a job at hand. Besides bowling a spectacular spell, Bhuvneshwar will also have to score runs while batting at number five or six. Deepak Chahar will also have the onus to shine with the bat. Although he played a match-winning 69-run knock in the ODI series, batting in the top six would be a different challenge.

The remaining slots will be occupied by Kuldeep Yadav, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini, and Varun Chakravarthy. This bowling line-up is certainly good enough to keep the Lankan Lions at bay. However, can this attack compensate for the dented batting line-up? Only time would tell.

India’s Predicted XI with the remaining squad: Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson (WK), Nitish Rana, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (C), Varun Chakravarthy, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini

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