The live-action of the India vs Sri Lanka T20I series is all set to commence from July 21. India tour of Sri Lanka 2021 will feature 3 ODIs and as many T20Is. The T20Is will garner the maximum spotlight as both the teams will look to extract maximum out of the three-match series ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE.
The ‘Men in Blue' have reached Sri Lanka in a completely new look. BCCI announced a fresh 20-man squad in the absence of first-choice players who are busy on the tour of England. Plenty of youngsters have received their maiden call-ups owing to consistent performance in the domestic circuit as well as IPL. Along with Shikhar Dhawan, who has been appointed as the captain of the team, Rahul Dravid is the head coach of the young brigade.
India's Playing XI vs Sri Lanka might see a few faces making their debut for the country. The likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya might kickstart their international journey as India cricketers in the upcoming few matches.
India Squad for the T20I series against Sri Lanka 2021:
Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), 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.
Here’s a look at predicted playing 11 of India for the T20I series against Sri Lanka at Colombo:
1. Openers: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan has cemented his position as an opener on the back of some consistent performances for the national team. The Delhi-based batsman was in a red-hot form for Delhi Capitals in the truncated IPL 2021. In the 8 IPL matches, Dhawan smashed 380 runs at an extraordinary strike rate of 134.
The Southpaw is likely to share the opening slot with his partner at DC, Prithvi Shaw. The latter may debut in the T20 format against Sri Lanka. The right-hander possesses a game that suits the T20 style of batting. The duo can give a desirable start to the team and present their A-game against a weakened Sri Lankan outfit.
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2. Middle-order: Surya Kumar Yadav, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wk)
Despite the absence of regular players, India's middle-order department looks potentially strong. The Mumbai-based batsman Suryakumar Yadav is a certainty to bat at 3. He broke into the national team against England earlier this year. Yadav's IPL experience will prove crucial, especially amidst some young players in the team.
At No.4, India might hand a debut to Nitish Rana, who usually plays in the middle-order for Delhi. The left-handed batsman is a good player of spin and can attack through the middle overs. Considering his recent success, he was even promoted to open for KKR in IPL 2021.
Jharkhand's Ishan Kishan might have a slight edge over Sanju Samson to find a place in India's playing XI against Sri Lanka for the T20Is. Kishan can feature as a floater in the batting order. The wicket-keeper batsman has batted at various positions and should be comfortable in playing any role offered by the team management.
3. All-rounder: Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya
In all likelihood, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya will discharge the all-rounder's duties. India will hope that Hardik can return to bowling his full quota of overs. He can be immensely destructive with the bat during the dying stages of the game but it will be his bowling that will be in focus during the Sri Lanka series.
On the other hand. Krunal will see it as an opportunity to claim his stake for a spot in India's T20 World Cup 2021 squad. The Baroda-born player can accumulate some handy runs at No.7 along with his useful few overs of left-arm spin.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami, experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace department. The troika of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini along Bhuvneshwar Kumar will ensure to put the pressure on the hosts. Deepak Chahar will ensure to make the most of his swing deliveries. Subsequently, the bowlers will get to exploit the known sub-continent bowling conditions at Colombo.
Yuzvendra Chahal is certain to hold the key in the spin department. In recent years, Chahal has achieved immense glory for his consistent wicket-taking capacity.