A second-string Indian team is set to travel to Sri Lanka in July for a white-ball series. Top names like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah will in all probability not be a part of the tour. They would be in England for the five-match Test series.
The absence of big names will give an opportunity for other promising players to make a mark for themselves and make a strong case in front of the selectors.
Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar – who missed out on making the squad for the England tour – is likely to be drafted in the mix for the Sri Lanka tour.
Indian Batsmen for Sri Lanka Tour:
Shikhar Dhawan should be the captain of the Indian team during the Sri Lanka tour. Dhawan has been a regular member of the Indian team in the limited-overs format for the last 7-8 years. He is one of the most experienced players who will be available for the Sri Lanka tour.
Moreover, Shikhar Dhawan also impressed everyone with his performance in IPL 2021. He was the highest run-scorer in the tournament with 380 runs in 8 matches, which also consisted of 3 fifties.
Prithvi Shaw is another batsman who should be part of the Indian squad. Since the start of this year, the right-handed batsman Shaw has impressed fans with his magnificent batting form. In Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21, Shaw was the highest run-scorer with 827 runs in 8 innings. He smashed 4 spectacular centuries in the tournament.
Moreover, Shaw was also brilliant in IPL 2021. Shaw scored 308 runs in 7 matches along with 3 half-centuries. Before IPL 2021 got suspended, Shaw was the 4th highest run-scorer in the tournament.
With his consistent good performances, Shreyas Iyer has been a regular member of Indian team in the limited-overs format for the last one year. Iyer sustained a shoulder injury in March due to which he was ruled out of IPL 2021. Iyer was injured during the first ODI against England itself and hence could not play in the ODIs.
However, he batted very well in T20Is. He scored 121 runs in 4 innings at an average of 40. He also smashed a fifty in one of the games at a crucial stage. Also, in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21, Iyer smashed 2 centuries and scored 260 runs in 4 matches. So Shreyas Iyer will be a crucial player for India during the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka.
Devdutt Padikkal has been in fabulous form since the start of this year. He is another player who should be part of India’s squad against Sri Lanka, which will also be his international debut. In Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021, the left-handed batsman Padikkal smashed 218 runs in 6 matches.
In Vijay Hazare Trophy 2020-21, Padikkal smashed 737 runs in 7 matches along with 4 centuries and 3 fifties. Also in IPL 2021, Padikkal smashed a century which earned him a lot of accolades. So Padikkal should be part of India’s squad against Sri Lanka.
Suryakumar Yadav is another Indian batsman who should be part of the Indian squad for the Sri Lanka tour. Yadav made a brilliant international debut in the T20I series against England. He smashed a half-century in his very first match. In 2 innings, Yadav scored 89 runs.
He looked very confident while batting. Yadav could not score big in IPL 2021 as Mumbai Indians suffered from poor middle-order batting in the initial games. However, Yadav managed to smash one fifty while scoring 173 runs in 7 matches in IPL 2021.
Sanju Samson should also be given a chance in the limited-overs series against Sri Lankan. Samson has already made his debut and played 7 T20Is for India. But the right-handed batsman has not got enough opportunities in the international circuit.
Sanju impressed fans when he smashed a century in Rajasthan Royals’ opening game in IPL 2021 against Punjab Kings. He was doing a good job in IPL 2021, scoring 277 runs in 7 matches. It will be a good decision to induct Samson into India’s squad against Sri Lanka.
Ishan Kishan made his debut against England in the T20I series and he bagged the spotlight after smashing a fifty in his debut match. Ishan Kishan is a powerful hitter and therefore a good choice for the limited-overs format. He is also a wicket-keeper so he can keep the stumps if needed.
N Jagadeesan will be another good choice for a wicket-keeper. If Ishan Kishan is selected as keeper, N Jagadeesan can be a backup for him. Jagadeesan was the highest run-scorer in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 with 364 runs in 8 matches. The wicket-keeper batsman smacked 4 half-centuries in the T20 domestic tournament. Therefore, Jagadeesan would be a good choice for wicketkeeper-batsman in India’s squad against Sri Lanka.
Indian All Rounders for Sri Lanka Tour:
Hardik Pandya will be a great choice for an all-rounder in the ODI and T20I squad against Sri Lanka. Hardik Pandya is a top-class batsman for India and is not part of the England Test series. Hardik Pandya suffered from his form in IPL 2021.
However, he played some good knocks against England in the T20I and ODI series earlier. Moreover, Hardik Pandya has a lot of international experience that will help India a lot during the Sri Lanka tour.
Rahul Tewatia will be another good choice for an all-rounder in India’s squad. Rahul Tewatia was also inducted in the T20I squad against England but did not get a chance to play.
In IPL 2021, he played few good knocks for Rajasthan Royals at the lower-middle order. Tewatia is a batting all-rounder and has the ability to bowl. This will be very useful in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka.
Krunal Pandya who recently made his ODI debut for Team India. With first-team all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar away on red-ball duty, Krunal Pandya is the first choice when it comes to spin-bowling all-rounders for Team India.
Indian Bowlers for Sri Lanka Tour:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is one pace bowler who should definitely be part of India’s squad against Sri Lanka. Kumar was injured in October last year during IPL 2020 and was out of action for several months. He made a comeback in the ODI and T20I series against England.
With his great performance against England, Kumar also won the ICC player of the month award for March 2021. In the absence of pacers like Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will emerge useful for leading the pace attack against Sri Lanka.
Navdeep Saini will be another great option for a pace bowler in India’s squad. Saini is a powerful pacer who has the ability to bowl at 140+ speed. Saini was part of India’s squad in the T20I series but did not get a chance to play.
Saini also has some international experience so he will be beneficial to India’s squad. So Navdeep Saini should also be part of India’s squad for the Sri Lanka tour.
T Natarajan is another player who should be part of India’s squad against Sri Lanka. T Natarajan made his international debut last year. The left-arm pacer also played against England in the ODI series and bowed quite efficiently.
He picked 2 wickets in 2 matches in IPL 2021 before sustaining a leg injury. Due to the injury, he had to leave IPL 2021 after just two matches. However, he will be all fit for the Sri Lanka tour in July and hence should be inducted in India’s squad against Sri Lanka.
Deepak Chahar will add strength to the team in the pace department. Deepak Chahar showed his magic in IPL 2021, where he scalped 8 wickets in 7 matches. He also crushed the top order of the opposition team in two matches.
In the past two years, Deepak Chahar has risen on the international stage with his powerful bowling. Therefore, he will be a great choice for the pacer in India’s squad against Sri Lanka.
Spinner Rahul Chahar has impressed a lot with his bowling in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 and IPL 2021. In Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021, Chahar picked up 11 wickets in 5 matches.
In IPL 2021, he led the spin attack for Mumbai Indians. He scalped 11 wickets in 7 matches and was the 4th highest wicket-taker. Since the Sri Lanka tour will be in the sub-continent, spinners will be very useful. Therefore, Rahul Chahar will be a good choice in the spin department.
Harshal Patel is one bowler who came to the limelight during IPL 2021. Patel started off with a 5-wicket haul for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first match against Mumbai Indians. He followed his consistent bowling and was the leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
In 7 matches, Harshal Patel took 17 wickets. Based on his impressive IPL 2021 performance, Patel should be given a chance during the Sri Lanka tour.
Another spinner who should be part of India’s squad against Sri Lanka is Yuzvendra Chahal. Chahal has a lot of international experience and he will strengthen the bowling department.
Chahal was doing a good job for Royal Challengers Bangalore in IPL 2021 and was gaining momentum with his bowling before the tournament got suspended. India should also go with some experienced spinners in the squad and Yuzvendra Chahal will be a good choice.
Kuldeep Yadav is another spinner who should be inducted into India’s squad against Sri Lanka. Kuldeep Yadav was part of India’s ODI match against England but emerged out quite expensive.
However, Kuldeep Yadav has played very few matches in the last year and he should be given enough opportunities for his comeback. Also, the combination of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav in the spin attack has emerged out fabulous for India in the past.
India tour of Sri Lanka: India probable squad vs Sri Lanka- Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Devdutt Padikkal, Krunal Pandya, N Jagadeesan, Suryakumar Yadav, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan, Kuldeep Yadav, and Rahul Tewatia.