A second-string India side is set to take on Sri Lanka in a limited-overs series starting on July 13 at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Following the three ODIs, India will also play three T20Is against the Sri Lankans at the same venue.
The Indian selectors were forced to send a second-string side to the island nation because of Virat Kohli & Co.’s involvement in the World Test Championship and the Test series that followed against England. Rahul Dravid was chosen as the head coach of the limited-overs side which features plenty of new faces in the absence of Ravi Shastri, who is in England with the first team.
The limited-overs series will give the selectors a good idea as to who can be picked for the upcoming World T20 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman in the months of October and November.
The likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan and Rahul Chahar would like to have a good series and make their case for the national side. Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy and the impressive Chetan Sakariya would also aim to make an impact.
India are expected to go with a strong playing XI despite the likes of Kohli, Rohit Sharma being away. The Dhawan-led side has enough firepower and reason to perform well and beat Lankan side that has been struggling recently and may even not have their first-choice players.
It’s a decent pitch to bat on with the average first innings score is around 241 in ODIs and 158 in T20Is. India are likely to go with the likes of Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav at the top with the experience of Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya in the middle-order. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has also returned to provide enough experience for the bowling line-up.
The Sri Lankan squad hasn’t been announced yet. However, there are talks of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announcing a second-string side against the Indians because of the ongoing contract rift with the current crop of players led by Kusal Perera.
The below-mentioned squad is the one SLC named for the England series –
Sri Lanka squad for England series: Kusal Perera (C), Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya de Silva, Oshada Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Ishan Jayaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Isuru Udana, Asitha Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep, Shiran Fernando, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Praveen Jayawickrama
India: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson (Wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya.
Go with the safe picks of Shikhar Dhawan for top runs scorer with the likes of Suryakumar Yadav being another option. Provided SLC name a strong squad, Kusal Perera can also be a good choice.
In the bowling department, the returning Bhuvneshwar Kumar could trouble the batters with the ball at the beginning of the innings and end. Sri Lanka’s Akila Dananjaya is also a good option.
For most sixes, Hardik Pandya always remains the safest pick.
For the match-winner prediction, we expect India to beat Sri Lanka in the game because of the experience and ability.
India vs Sri Lanka should be a good contest for the watchers to see new faces in the Indian side. So stay tuned to our website for more cricket match prediction tips, news and updates over the course of the series.