With Team India set to play a 3-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in July, it will be really interesting to see the kind of line-up they will opt for. The Men in Blue will be without their regular starters like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja and Jasprit Bumrah. This scenario will open up the doors for various youngsters as they will finally get an opportunity to showcase their potential in international circuit while playing for their country. With so many possibilities, let us look at the probable India's playing XI for the ODI series against SL.
1. Shikhar Dhawan (c)
The veteran opener is going to be the first name in the playing XI and is also expected to lead the side in absence of other senior members. Dhawan has been one of the best ODI batsman for India in the last few years, with 5977 runs to his name in 142 matches at a scintillating average of 45.3. With him eyeing to play for the country till 2023 World Cup at least, the 35-year-old will want to make a mark in this series.
2. Prithvi Shaw
The 21-year-old is expected to partner Dhawan at the top, with the Delhi Capitals' destructive opening-pair set to reunite. Shaw has rediscovered his form in white-ball cricket after an impressive Vijay Hazare Trophy, followed with a good first half in IPL 2021. The stylish batsman has represented India in ODIs before, scoring 84 runs in 3 matches. This might just be the opportunity for the Mumbai cricketer to announce his arrival in international cricket.
3. Suryakumar Yadav
One of the most consistent performers in domestic circuit and IPL - Suryakumar Yadav is set to make his ODI debut for India against Sri Lanka. With the No. 3 slot finally vacant, the 30-year-old would want to grab his opportunity with both hands. SKY is one of the best players of spin in the country and his skills and abilities could prove to be very crucial for the inexperienced Indian side in challenging conditions in Sri Lanka.
4. Manish Pandey
The 31-year-old has been one of the most unlucky cricketers for India in last few years. Despite his impressive performances, Manish Pandey has never been given a longer run to establish his place in the side. Having scored 492 runs in 26 ODIs for India, the experience of Pandey in the middle-order might prove to be quite handy for India against Sri Lanka.
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5. Ishan Kishan (wk)
There is going to be a toss-up between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson for the wicket-keeping slot in absence of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul. However, the MI batsman might just get a nod ahead in ODIs because of his experience batting in the lower middle-order for his franchise. After a slightly disappointing first half of IPL 2021, the wicketkeeper might be in with a chance to make his ODI debut against Sri Lanka.
6. Hardik Pandya
The swashbuckling all-rounder will be raring to go in the Sri Lanka series and will be hoping to contribute with both bat and ball. Hardik Pandya has been a match-winner for India in ODIs, with 1267 runs and 55 wickets in 60 matches. The 27-year-old will be one of the senior-members for Men in Blue and will need to step up and deliver for his side.
7. Krunal Pandya
The left-arm spin all-rounder will provide the much-needed balance to the Indian setup, along with his brother. With an ability to bowl economically in middle-overs and even contribute with the bat lower down the order, Krunal Pandya is going to be a key member in the playing XI against Sri Lanka. The 30-year-old has played 3 ODIs for India and even scored an explosive fifty on his debut.
8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
The experienced pacer has had a lot of injury concerns in last couple of years, which was the reason he missed out on the Test squad for WTC final. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar should be back for ODI series and is expected to lead the Indian pace attack. With 138 wickets in 117 matches, the 31-year-old would certainly be hoping to add a few more scalps to his impressive tally.
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9. Deepak Chahar
The 28-year-old is expected to partner with Bhuvneshwar Kumar in what is going to be a lethal seam-bowling attack for India. With his ability to swing the ball both ways, Deepak Chahar can be a nightmare to face on his best days. However, he has only managed to take 2 wickets in 3 ODI matches so far and this could just be his chance to establish himself in India's one-day setup.
10. Yuzvendra Chahal
The leg-spinner has been slightly out of form in the last few months and the Sri Lanka series is coming at a perfect time for him to rediscover his mojo. Yuzvendra Chahal has played 54 ODIs for India, taking 92 wickets at an economy of 5.20. The 30-year-old is the most experienced spinner in the squad and would want to silence his critics in this series.
11. Kuldeep Yadav
With the wicket in Sri Lanka offering more assistance to spinners, it might be the opportunity for India to reunite the famous Kul-Cha combo once again. There is no doubt that Kuldeep Yadav has some unique skills in his armoury but he has been suffering from loss of confidence. Having taken 105 wickets in 63 matches for the country, the 26-year-old certainly deserves an opportunity to revive his international career against Sri Lanka.