Sri Lanka vs India: India’s Predicted Playing XI for 1st ODI

Sri Lanka vs India: India’s Predicted Playing XI for 1st ODI

Team India faces a problem of plenty.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan of India(Photo by Henry Browne/Getty Images)

A second-stringed Team India is set to take on Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the three-match series. The much-awaited encounter takes place at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday (July 18). In normal circumstances, the Men in Blue would have been overwhelming favourites to defeat the Lankan Lions in any format. However, majority of players in this Indian team are young and inexperienced with many big guns being in England for a five-match Test series.

Veteran Shikhar Dhawan will marshal the Indian troop against Sri Lanka while pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is his deputy. The duo’s first challenge would be selecting the playing XI. The 20-member squad doesn’t have any shortage of talented youngsters and hence, picking the final combination won’t be a bread and butter task. While some players pick themselves up, brainstorming will be required for other positions.

Here is India’s predicted XI for the first ODI against Sri Lanka:

Openers: Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw

While skipper Dhawan is a sure starter, three potent names are in the line to occupy the second opener’s position – Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad. Although all these prodigies have been impressive in white-ball cricket lately, Shaw is all but likely to get a nod ahead. The dasher enjoyed a sensational run in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the now-postponed Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this year.

Moreover, Shaw and Dhawan have tormented many bowlers while opening together for Delhi Capitals. Hence, the southpaw would prefer him. However, Shaw can’t afford to have too many failures with players of Padikkal and Gaikwad’s caliber warming the benches.

Middle Order: Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey

The problem of plenty would continue while finalizing the middle order. Suryakumar Yadav and Manish Pandey are most likely to get places in the final XI ahead of Nitish Rana. Yadav has been in stellar form lately and he even did well in his debut T20I series against England earlier this year. Hence, he undoubtedly should be handed an ODI cap in the first game.

While Manish Pandey’s recent performance isn’t staggering, he’s one of the few experienced players in the side. This factor must work in his favour. Moreover, Pandey can anchor the innings in the middle overs, and playing big shots isn’t beyond his reach either.

Wicket-Keepers and All-rounders: Ishan Kishan/Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, and Krunal Pandya

Coming to the wicket-keeper’s slot, Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan are in contention. This would certainly be a tough call as Kishan impressed during the England series earlier this year. His presence also means India have a southpaw in the middle-order. On the other hand, Sanju Samson had a couple of impressive outings in IPL. Hence, it would be interesting to see who amongst the two takes the field.

Samson might get a nod ahead owing to his experience. As far as all-rounders are concerned, Pandya brothers (Hardik and Krunal) pick themselves up. A full-fit Hardik is nothing short of a captain’s delight in white-ball cricket. On the other hand, Krunal has been a prolific performer in the Indian domestic circuit. Hence, Krishnappa Gowtham will have to wait for his chances.

Bowlers: Deepak Chahar/Navdeep Saini, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal

The problem of plenty won’t get any easier while picking the bowlers. Vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a sure starter while either Deepak Chahar or Navdeep Saini will share the new ball with him. Pretty much like Kumar, Chahar can swing the ball both ways and has variations to do well in death overs. He was even impressive in IPL.

On the other hand, Saini is a tearaway fast bowler and his inclusion will provide variety to the bowling attack. Having said that, his recent performance isn’t brilliant.  The remaining two slots will be occupied by spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The iconic Kul-Cha duo hasn’t done well lately and would like to stamp their authority in this series.

India’s Predicted XI for 1st ODI against Sri Lanka: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson/Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar/Navdeep Saini, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal