A bunch of new faces will desperately need a fair hearing for the T20 World Cup when India’s both different and formidable white ball team take on a Sri Lanka under fire in the six-game limited competition , starting with the first ODI here on Sunday. .
Winning any international series will be paramount, but it can be expected that a few combinations will be tried during a series that has been delayed for five days due to fear of COVID-19 in the Sri Camp. Lankan. The series includes three ODIs and as many T20s.
Dasun Shanaka is their 10th captain in four years and with less than a class batsman like Dhananjaya de Silva and a steady pace at Dishmantha Chameera, this team lacks the quality to challenge the might of the Indian team led by Shikhar Dhawan. .
READ: Sri Lanka series a good platform for players, coaches ahead of T20 World Cup
The suspension of Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella due to a UK bio-bubble rupture as well as the injury of former skipper Kusal Perera put Sri Lanka in a difficult position. If they manage to win a game it will be an achievement in itself after a disastrous tour of England.
Expect Vijay Hazare Trophy top scorer Prithvi Shaw to open alongside Dhawan, while seniors Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar should find automatic locations in the XI.
However, there are several contenders for other niches.
Will it be Devdutt Padikkal or Ruturaj Gaikwad for number 3? Will Suryakumar Yadav’s 360-degree punching ability be used or will Manish Pandey have one last chance to show consistency? Will Krishnappa Gowtham’s off-spins and big shots be preferred over Krunal Pandya’s left arm darts with cheeky hitting skills?
How is Rahul Chahar positioned against Yuzvendra Chahal, who hasn’t been in his best form lately? And who will put on the big gloves? Is it Rahul Dravid’s protégé, Sanju Samson, or the mercurial man of the Mumbai Indians, Ishan Kishan, who can really pack a punch? These are all questions that the team management will have to answer over the next 11 days in Colombo.
The strength of the India bench was the envy of all the top cricketing nations and allowed two national teams to compete in different parts of the world during the COVID era.
READ: Dasun Shanaka expects ‘equal competition’ between India and Sri Lanka
As Virat Kohli’s men are keen to restore their dismal England test record, the team led by Dhawan and coached by Dravid – the man responsible for creating the pool, will never agree to it being a “second chain” outfit attacking islanders. , which go through their lowest ebb.
A team that has Dhawan and Shaw at the top along with Pandey, Suryakumar, Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal, seasoned Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar as well as twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav can be anything but child’s play.
Some of these players are regulars at T20 and while the 50 over format will be of lesser importance to the world event in the next three months, Dravid and Dhawan both know the importance of playing time.
Although there are six uncapped players in this Indian roster, Dravid had recently made it clear that it would be difficult to provide playing time to all available payers.
Dravid and Dhawan are expected to consult Ravi Shastri and Kohli on what they would look for in the assortment of players available with them.
One thing is crystal clear. There aren’t many slots available in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup and it would take an out-of-the-world show from the rookies to find a slot on the team heading to the UAE.
READ: Sri Lanka can’t be in transition forever, says Mickey Arthur
Among the newcomers, Varun Chakravarthy, who will likely be exclusively used in the shorter format, has a good chance of making the T20 World Cup and bowling on Chetan Sakariya’s left arm is an option they would like to consider.
Chahal and Kuldeep, the pair who couldn’t hurt until the 2019 World Cup, are both on borrowed time right now and it couldn’t have been a better time to take on a struggling Sri Lanka.
However, Dhawan himself is still not assured of a ticket to the UAE extravagance, with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul being candidates to open the sleeves.
Dhawan is someone who can only beat at the top and the skipper himself would like to reaffirm his supremacy in both formats. Ditto for Buvneshwar, who would like to see himself in this T20 attack with Jasprit Bumrah.