The selection committee is scheduled to meet on Sunday to decide on the team for the five-match ODI series and one-off T20I against Sri Lanka commencing from August 20th. Reports have suggested that the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Aswin, and Mohammed Shami will be rested for the series.
The No.1 Test team in the world have already won the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka and have taken the field today in a bid to clean-sweep the series against the Island nation.
The selectors will meet on Sunday to decide on the team that will compete against a struggling Sri Lanka side in the five-match ODI series and one-off T20I. With India playing Australia and Sri Lanka at home before departing for South Africa later this year, this is a great opportunity for the selectors to rest some of the players who have been in action for a major part of India's hectic season, so far.
Subsequently, with some of the regular names missing from the team lineup, there are going to be a lot of changes to the Indian side as the selectors would like to try out the options in a build up to the 2019 World Cup.
Given this scenario, our predicted 15 for the ODI series against are as follows:
1. Rohit Sharma
The Mumbai batsman looked in great touch in the Champions Trophy tournament and would be likely picked in the squad to start the proceedings with the bat alongside KL Rahul. However, Sharma will face some stiff competition for the opening spot from Shikhar Dhawan who himself has been amongst runs in the recent past.
2. KL Rahul
KL Rahul has made the top spot his very own scoring 220 runs in 6 ODIs at an average of 55 runs per innings. After missing out on the Champions Trophy and the subsequent tour of the West Indies, the Karnataka batsman is sure to feature in the Indian squad for the ODIs against Sri Lanka and will definitely open along side Rohit Sharma.
1. Virat Kohli
The Indian skipper cleared the air about not playing in the ODI series against Sri Lanka stating he has no problem being included in the ODI squad and thereby put all the rumours to rest. Kohli will continue leading the team in Sri Lanka and personally would be looking to build some momentum going into the home series against Australia.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
Dhawan has looked solid in ODIs and after making a triumphant return to the Indian Test squad the Delhi batsman is most likely to be a member of the 15-man Indian squad for ODIs against Sri Lanka. Dhawan would either open with KL Rahul or come in at number three to fasten and pace the Indian innings.
Ajinkya Rahane won the Man of the Series in the Caribbean and that shows that he has been in pretty good touch recent. Therefore, he is likely to be retained in the Indian side and given his recent performances, there's no denying that his place has been well-earned.
4. MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni’s case is similar to that of Yuvraj Singh, however, not that critical. He hasn’t been in quite a good form and is under scrutiny. However, the renowned stumper's experience will come in handy for the side and his finishing abilities will be tested once again.
Manish Pandey has been in consistent form and might make a comeback, having been named the Man of the Series in India A’s victorious campaign in South Africa. Pandey's contributions will come in handy at number 5 and his big hitting abilities will only help the team's cause.
6. Kedar Jadhav
Kedar Jadhav is highly likely to feature in the Indian squad for the ODIs and T20I owing to his consistent performances with the bat. Not only will his finishing capabilities strengthen India's lower-middle order, but his part time off-spin can also perturb the Sri Lankan batsmen.
Hardik Pandya will be the only all-rounder in the squad and is probably going to be given his roughly ten overs in the upcoming series. This will be a good chance for him to improve his bowling skills.
1. Axar Patel
Axar Patel has been bowling with a great consistency lately and is quite likely to be beneficial to the squad in the upcoming ODI series. Moreover, Patel's unorthodox left-arm spin can also come in handy in the absence of Ravindra Jadeja.
Yuzvendra Chahal has made a name for himself with his leg-spin and he was RCB's best bowler in the tenth edition of IPL. He then followed that up with some consistent bowling performances for India A means Chahal will be a strong contender to feature in the playing XI of the whole series.
Kuldeep Yadav is another spinner who has been among the wickets when given a chance as he had a great Test debut and an even better tour of West Indies which will help his cause of making it to the playing XI for the ODI series against Sri Lanka.
There is a possibility of Bhuvneshwar Kumar being included in the team this time given he has been consistently bowling well and has been instrumental in taking early wickets for India on numerous occasions in the past.
2. Umesh Yadav
The selectors might retain Umesh Yadav for this series as well as that would like to keep the deadly combination of Yadav and Bumrah in tact.
Bumrah will definitely make a return to the Indian squad for the ODI series against the Lankans owing to his brilliant economy rate and death bowling skills. Moreover, the youngster would love the opportunity to get some wickets under his belt against a depleted Sri Lankan side.