Winning any international series will be paramount, but a few combinations can be expected to 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 T20Is.
Dasun Shanaka is Sri Lanka’s 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 headed by Shikhar Dhawan.
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.
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Will it be Devdutt Padikkal or Ruturaj Gaikwad at # 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 the 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 enabled two national teams to compete against each other in different parts of the world during the Covid era.
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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, with people like Pandey, Suryakumar, brothers Pandya Hardik and Krunal, seasoned Bhuvneshwar and Deepak Chahar in addition to spin twins Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, can be anything but a game of ‘child.
Some of these players are regulars at T20 and although the 50-over format is of lesser importance to the world event in 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.
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One thing is crystal clear. There are not many places available in the Indian squad for the T20 World Cup and it would take an extraordinary show from the rookies to find a place in the UAE related squad.
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 would like to reaffirm his supremacy in both white ball formats.
Ditto for Buvneshwar, who would like to see himself in this T20 attack with Jasprit Bumrah.
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India: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (week), Sanju Samson (week), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, Kuzvavendra, Yahal Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini
Sri Lanka: Ail Shanaka (Captain), Dhananjaya de Silva (Vice-captain), Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen service, Binod Bhanuka, Lahiru Air, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushanakmantha Chameera, , Akila Dananjaya, Shiran Fernando, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Ishan Jayaratne, Praveen Jayawickrama, Asitha Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana