Team India’s predicted limited-overs squad for Sri Lanka tour
Shikhar Dhawan is expected to lead the India B side in Sri Lanka.
Updated - May 11, 2021 1:56 pm
Sourav Ganguly, President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), indicated that India’s tour of Sri Lanka, slated to happen in July this year, would see the visitors sending their ‘B’ team over to the island nation. This effectively means no Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, the captain and vice-captain in the limited-overs format for India. So who all will feature in this new-look team?
For the selectors, this represents a welcome opportunity to test the bench strength by providing opportunities to consistent performers in the domestic circuit as well as those who impressed in the IPL. Thus, these 20 names may see themselves on the bio-secure bubble flight to Sri Lanka:
Expected Team India for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour:
In Kohli and Sharma’s absence, Shikhar Dhawan, who has been in fine form in recent times, will make the trip and will be also be expected to lead the team. Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal are likely to be the two other openers in the squad, given their recent exploits in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and before that in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (VHT). Ruturaj Gaikwad was the highest scorer for the high-flying Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and maybe find a spot as the 4th choice opener.
In the middle-order, it is likely that Suryakumar Yadav will make the cut, following his excellent displays in his debut T20 series against England. Nitish Rana was the highest scorer for his team- Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)- in the IPL and can expect to find his name as he provides a left-handed option in the squad. Another debutant from the T20 series against England who excelled was Ishan Kishan, he will function as the first-choice wicketkeeper.
The other wicket-keeper in the squad will be Sanju Samson, who started well in the IPL with a century, and though his performances remained inconsistent as the tournament progressed, he was the 4th highest run-scorer amongst Indian batters. Sheldon Jackson, who had been in excellent touch in the SMAT and VHT this season, can take up the next middle-order slot in the squad while he can also serve as a backup keeper should the need arise.
Hardik Pandya will be the first name amongst all-rounders, though his ability to contribute with the ball will certainly be assessed by the selection committee before they make a decision on him. Jalaj Saxena will most likely be the next name due to his consistent performances across the years in the domestic circuit and his excellent form in the SMAT and VHT this year.
With the requirement for an off-spinner in the squad and his reliable ability with the bat, he can turn out to be a very useful option on the Lanka pitches. Krunal Pandya can also be expected to join, for he provides a left-arm option in the spin department and his batting style can certainly be an asset in the Lankan conditions.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar can be expected to lead the bowling lineup. Jaydev Unadkat can expect a callup, owing to his impressive displays in the IPL and his consistent performances in the domestic setup over the last few years. Chetan Sakariya and Avesh Khan can expect call-ups as well due to their impressive displays in the IPL. Deepak Chahar’s name will likely be added to the list as well owing to his fine performances for CSK, completing the fast bowling set in the side.
Amongst the spinners, Rahul Chahar has emerged as a wicket-taking bowler with a reputation for striking at key junctures and he will likely make it, while Yuzvendra Chahal will attempt to regain his form on the tour. Varun Chakravarthy may be picked as the reserve leg-spinner, following his impressive form in the IPL, however, this may be subject to a condition, like the last two times he was not picked, on his inability to clear the fitness test.
Squad: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson, Sheldon Jackson, Hardik Pandya, Jalaj Saxena, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakaria, Avesh Khan, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy*
*Hardik Pandya and Varun Chakravarthy may be closely monitored by the selection committee (ability to bowl and fitness, respectively). Harshal Patel and Rahul Tewatia may be chosen as replacements should Pandya and Chakravarthy fail to satisfy the conditions laid out for selection.