India’s Ideal XI For First ODI Against SL – IND vs SL 1st ODI Playing 11

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IND playing XI 1st ODI: The ODI format will dominate the narrative for the next few months as it is the ODI World Cup year. India will host the upcoming 2023 ODI World Cup in October-November. The home team kickstarts its preparation with the series against Sri Lanka.

India will play a 3-match ODI series beginning at Guwahati. Jasprit Bumrah who was first added to the squad earlier has now withdrawn from the team. The NCA and the board don’t want to rush Bumrah into high-voltage action soon. 

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We look at what could IND playing XI 1st ODI look like

#1 Openers – Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan 

The selection panel has finally looked beyond Shikhar Dhawan in ODIs. Dhawan’s returns in ODIs have significantly dwindled in the last couple of years. He hasn’t been selected for the series against Sri Lanka. India has two young options, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill.

Both youngsters have grabbed the opportunities that have come their way. Gill has posted consistent scores while Kishan bulldozed his way to a double century. It looks highly likely that it will be Kishan who will partner with captain Rohit Sharma at the top.

#2 Middle order – Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul

Virat Kohli is a sure starter at number 3 for India. His records speak volumes for himself. It is the number 4 and the number 5 spot that has many competitors. Shreyas Iyer though is currently the frontrunner for the number 4 spot. He is a fine player of spin and can handle himself against pace in Indian conditions.

Suryakumar Yadav will be pushing Iyer hard for the spot but for now, it is Iyer who holds the aces. KL Rahul is the incumbent at number 5. He has stiff competition with players like Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda with the latter being able to chip in with spin. 

#3 The allrounders – Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel / Washington Sundar

Hardik Pandya’s welcome return to fitness augurs well for the Indian team. He will be occupying the number 6 spot in ODIs. Pandya’s bowling tilts the odds in his favour. Axar Patel has been in terrific form lately with both bat and the ball. It will be difficult to leave Axar Patel on the bench. He will be competing with Washington Sundar who too has been brilliant in ODIs as a bowling allrounder. India could afford to play them both if they choose to play 3 spinners. 

#4 Spinners – Kuldeep Yadav / Yuzvendra Chahal

India has preferred Yuzvendra Chahal largely post the 2019 ODI World Cup. But Chahal has been inconsistent on crunch occasions. India could look to field Kuldeep Yadav who has staged a fine comeback. The left-arm chinaman could be a key point of difference in the World Cup. His newfound ability with the bat will allow India to bat deep.

#5 Pacers – Mohammad Siraj, Umran Malik/ Mohammad Shami

Mohammad Siraj has been India’s leading pacer in the format for the past 12 months. He has been effective across all phases of the game. India can use the pace of Umran Malik in the middle overs to push back the opposition. Mohammad Shami too can hustle in during the middle overs apart from his new ball exploits.

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