Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan (Photo: IPL) Photograph:( Twitter )
Captain Shikhar Dhawan is looking to become the fourth fastest to hit 6,000 runs as India's second-string team squares off with Sri Lanka in the first of three ODIs and three T20 matches in Premadasa Stadium.
India’s young guns will clash with Sri Lanka in the first of three ODIs and three T20s on Sunday as captain Shikhar Dhawan is looking to become the fourth fastest to hit 6,000 runs. Dhawan is just 23 runs short of the feat.
Coach Rahul Dravid has a problem of choice, as there are eager contenders in the white-ball team for each spot in the batting line-up for India’s second-string team at the tournament in Sri Lanka.
Dravid has to decide who will be the opening batsman with Dhawan, and the main choice appears to be Prithvi Shaw.
Suryakumar Yadav is also making his ODI debut in the first match of the series which will be played at the Premadasa stadium, which will also host all the other matches from July 18 to 29.
While the ‘second team’ is a result of the Virat Kohli-led main squad touring England for the test series, this is also an opportunity for the youngsters to prove their mettle. It may also give pointers towards who will get selection in the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is vice-captain of the team touring Sri Lanka, that has six new faces including Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav. Several of them are yet to play in all formats of cricket.
Here is how the team may look like:
Prithvi Shaw is most likely to open with skipper Dhawan. The right-hander was dropped from the Test team but has since batted impressively, scoring 827 runs in Vijay Hazare Trophy and 308 in the first phase of IPL 2021.
He has played three ODIs so far.
With some T20 cricket experience behind him, Surya Kumar Yadav is likely to make a batting debut on Sunday and is expected to come in the one down position.
He didn’t play in the ODIs against England though he was part of the team.
Manish Pandey is likely to bat at fourth position.
Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson are the other main contenders for the batting line-up, with Samson having an edge for the ODI debut.
Hardik Pandya, who is in the national team since 2016, and brother Krunal Pandya will be in the playing XI.
Pacer and vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead India’s bowling attack.
Other likely pace bowlers in the squad are Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini and Chetan Sakariya.
Four of the bowlers in the team are spinners: Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy. Among them, Chahal and Chahar might bowl on Sunday.
Possible Playing XI
Shikhar Dhawan (Captain)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-Captain)
Navdeep Saini or Rahul Chahar
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal are likely to sit it out on Sunday.