The BCCI President has said that India will tour Sri Lanka, although the main Indian team will be busy in England. First, India will play the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand on 18th June 2021.
Then Virat and his men will stay in the UK for the five-match Test series against England, which will start on 4th August 2021 at Trent Bridge.
The team which will tour Sri Lanka in July will not have star-studded players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Shardul Thakur, Mohammad Shami, and Mohammed Siraj. The squad selected for this white ball series will be off newcomers and nonregular players.
Even though the island nation has not performed well in the 50 overs format and the 20 overs format in the last few years, India cannot take them lightly in their backyard. The management will have to send a strong squad to Sri Lanka for the limited-overs series.
Today, in this segment, we shall predict the playing XI for India, and this team will also have a new captain because both Virat and Rohit will be in England. The squad which will be selected have the best combination of the players for the white ball series –
Shikhar Dhawan – Gabbar is India’s first-choice opener in the limited-overs format and the senior member of the batting unit in the absence of Virat and Rohit. Dhawan can be named as the captain of the side because of the experience he has. Shikhar has been in good touch with the bat.
He played well in the ODI series against England. He scored two half-centuries in that home series, and he also had a good IPL 2021 season. His addition will add strength and experience to the opening position.
Prithvi Shaw – India can choose other openers than Shaw. Devdutt Paddikal can also partner with Dhawan in the white ball series. But we will go with Prithvi Shaw because he showed some good form in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the first half of the IPL 2021 season. The right-handed opening batsman was the highest run-getter in the domestic tournament.
Shaw scored 827 runs from just eight innings. He also scored four centuries to his name in that tournament. Shaw wasn’t picked for the Test tour of England. So he will want to prove a point and get his spot back in the Test matches. Shaw would also be eyeing to cement his place into the limited-overs series. So he will have three ODIs and T20Is to prove his mettle.
Shreyas Iyer – In the absence of Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer can bat at the number three position, and he can also be the captain of the side. Shreyas has done well as a leader for his IPL franchise Delhi Capitals. He has been a consistent performer for India in the limited over format.
As a senior pro, he will need to anchor the innings with the youngsters like Suryakumar and Ishan Kishan. Shreyas was out of the cricketing action after he injured his shoulder in the first ODI against England. We hope Iyer will be fit for this Lankan tour as he has gone through a shoulder injury, due to which he missed the first half of the IPL 2021 season.
Suryakumar Yadav – SKY will be a good choice for the number four slot in the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka. Surya is yet to make his ODI debut for India. But no one will forget the way he made his T20I debut against England. Surya’s fans and the entire country will expect a similar performance from this young lad.
But he should score runs consistently. In the IPL 2021 season, SKY showed a lack of inconsistent performance. If Surya is mindful of that, he can be a great player to watch out for in the coming years and he can all three formats.
Ishan Kishan – Kishan will be the first wicketkeeper choice for India in that limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. Kishan will bat at number five position where KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant used to bat for India in the 50 over format. Ishan also started his T20I career with a bang against England. Now it needs to be seen how he could start his career in the fifty-over format. But Kishan didn’t score many runs in the IPL 2021 season.
His consistency, too, is a problem. Now he left-handed wicketkeeper-batsman will have to come good with the bat and behind the stumps, which could cement his place in India’s squad for the upcoming World T20. The youngsters like Kishan and Suryakumar shouldn’t get complacent because many players like them are waiting in the wings to play for India.
Hardik Pandya – Allrounder can be part of the playing XI. But he will play as a pure batsman just like he did in Australia. Hardik and Kishan will have to play the role of a finisher in the innings for India. He did well against England in the home ODI series. He scored 64 runs in the last ODI.
But the form which he showed in the recent half IPL 2021 season might worry India a bit, and if he is not bowling as he did in this IPL season, that will also rub salt on the wounds of the Indian team.
India will be one bowler short in the playing eleven, and Hardik is quite accurate with the ball. The team management should also look into this matter before picking him. He wasn’t picked for the England tour because of his poor batting form, and he didn’t bowl a single over in the IPL 2021 season.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – The Fans were shocked when Bhuvi didn’t make it to the squad for the England Test tour. But here, in the absence of the lead pacers, Bhuvi can be the leader of the Indian pace battery. Kumar played well against England in the limited over series after a gap of one year. But his performance dipped in the IPL 2021 season.
Now he would be raring to go against Sri Lanka. The addition of Bhuvneshwar will also add depth to India’s batting. Bhuvi has scored just one half-century, which came against Sri Lanka in that Island country.
In that match, Bhuvi and Mahi bailed India out after the middle order was undone by the spin of Akhila Dananjaya. Bhuvi’s little cameos and his wealth of bowling experience will help India do well. We expect that Kumar would be selected for this limited over series against Sri Lanka.
Deepak Chachar – India will need the pace bowling department to come good against Sri Lanka. So they need a promising pacer like Deepak Chachar in their mix. Since 2018, Deepak has been the shining light for Indian Cricket. He has played just three ODIs for India, and he is an experienced T20 bowler. As a pacer, he has done for Chennai Super Kings this season, and we hope that he gets into the playing XI of all the six matches in Sri Lanka and does well in both the games of the white ball series.
T Natarajan – Nattu is the product of the IPL. In that cash-rich league tournament, the bowler delivers for their franchise in pressure situations. The IPL makes the young pace bowler like Natarajan, and now he is a match-ready product to represent India.
Nattu also played Test cricket in Australia, and he did well there. In the home limited over series against England, he did a decent job. But he couldn’t replicate that form in the IPL 2021 season. He had a knee injury, and he was out for the remaining matches of this season. But we shall hope that Nattu is fully fit and he gets picked in the playing XI of this series.
Kuldeep Yadav – Kuldeep is the one who hasn’t been picked in any of the series. But he has fared well in the given opportunities. He was dropped from India’s squad after he was taken for cleaners in the second ODI game against England. He wasn’t part of the IPL squad of Kolkata Knight Riders. But we feel that Kuldeep should get a chance in the series against Sri Lanka.
India doesn’t have other optional spinners like Axar, Sundar, and Jadeja. These spin bowlers will be in England. So India can choose between Krunal and Kuldeep. We think that Kuldeep should get a nod for playing this series as a lead spinner. That will help him get his lost confidence back, which will also help him perform all six matches.
Yuzvendra Chahal – The spin bowler of India is always in contention while playing the limited-overs series. In this series, we expect to see the KULCHA combo again after so many years. In the absence of Jadeja and Sundar, India can play Chahal and Kuldeep in the same XI. This spinning pair has been highly effective when they operated in the middle overs.
India has the depth in their batting in this series, so both the spin bowlers can play together after a long gap. When India went to Sri Lanka, the visitors had whitewashed the Lankan Tigers in the ODI series, and they also won the lone T20 match. That was because India had KULCHA in their team. So if India picks them, then that would do good to the confidence of both the spinners.