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  • Writer's pictureSaurabh Nagpal

Sri Lanka vs India: What might be new-look India’s starting XI and why?


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If you’re an Indian cricket fan, there is hardly any chance that the cricket coming your way in the next couple of months does not excite you. The excitement brewing is however for quite divergent reasons. On one hand, given the Indian Test team’s competitive nature, well-balanced composition, and recent away success, the odds of Virat Kohli’s team going shoulder to shoulder against England in England are pretty decent. On the other hand, India’s tour of Sri Lanka is a threshold moment for Indian cricket, as for the first time ever a so-called ‘second string’ team will be featuring in an international bilateral series. This speaks volumes about the depth of bench strength in men’s cricket in our land.

One of the most intriguing things about this forthcoming series is that how enjoyably thought-provoking it is for the fans to preempt the team combinations and playing XI of this new-look Indian side. Here’s my prediction/preference:

1.Shikhar Dhawan – (C)/Bat

The most straightforward pick. He, along with his few experienced secretaries, has been entrusted with the task of guiding and getting the best out of the boys-in-blue in the foreign lands of Sri Lanka.

On a personal level, despite his gallant performances against England in the ODIs and being the highest run-getter (380) in the cut-short IPL season, he still would have a point to prove as the 35-year-old did fall off the pecking order in the home T20Is versus England.

2.Prithvi Shaw – Bat

After having an appalling time Down Under, Shaw’s career turned in a concerning direction. However, he did not choose to wallow in his bad form. The Mumbaikar made a thundering comeback, knocking on the selectors’ door even harder, and eventually getting a well-warranted call-up. He smashed a record-breaking 827 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and 308 runs in the truncated IPL.

His cordial chemistry with his fellow Delhi Capitals opener might be another reason for him getting a nod above other openers like Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad.

3.Surya Kumar Yadav – Bat

When he finally made his debut for the national side against England in the recent home T20Is, he looked eager, like a man on a mission, and, more importantly, he was not fazed by the occasion – he looked ready.

Mind you, he has scored over 10000 runs across all formats in domestic cricket and has been no less than a revelation in the last four IPL seasons, scoring a whopping 1589 runs, for a supremely successful Mumbai Indians side. He merits this spot, and how this series transpires might also have a big say in him making the squad for the upcoming WT20.




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