The India tour of Sri Lanka kickstarts today with the first ODI. India have carried with themselves a squad of 20 players for the limited-overs tour. Each member of this squad is worthy of finding a spot in the final playing XI. Hence the onus of picking the best XI for each game falls on the team management. They will have to wisely pick and choose players both for the ODIs and T20Is. Here are the 5 tough selection choices for India.
StumpsandBails lists the 5 tough selection calls that India have to make in this series:
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5 Tough Selection Choices For India. Navdeep Saini broke into the Indian team on some solid domestic performances. Saini made an impressive T20I debut. But his ODI returns have been far from decent. He has played 7 ODIs and managed to pick just 6 wickets. Saini has been too expensive conceding runs at 6.98 per over. He averages 75.7 with the ball and strikes at 65 per wicket. These aren’t great numbers by any stretch of the imagination. Hence it will be up to the team management to decide whether they want to give an extended run to Saini or try the promising Chetan Sakariya instead. Chetan Sakariya brings in a lot of variety to the Indian pace attack. His attitude is impressive as well. We do expect Sakariya to make his debut someway along this tour.
#4 Will selectors persist with Manish Pandey?
Manish Pandey has had a stop-start international career. When he scored an unbeaten match-winning century in Sydney in 2016, it felt like Pandey is here to stay. But he has never had a consistent run of games for India. He has always been on the fringe of selection. But he has never really seized his position. He averages 35.1 in 26 ODIs and strikes at 92. Pandey is currently 31 years and time is ticking for him. Will the management give him a final run this series or is it already too late for Pandey?
#3 The number 3 conundrum
India are expected to play Suryakumar Yadav at number 3 at the start of the series. But they surely have a lot of options in this series. Prithvi Shaw is the most likely candidate to open with Shikhar Dhawan. That leaves Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Paddikal to contest along with Yadav for the number 3 spot. India will surely want to test their temperament as well in addition to ensuring Yadav gets a fair run at number 3.
#2 Which way will it spin?
India have 6 spinners in their ranks. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are the two most senior spinners in the squad. But the likes of Rahul Chahar and Varun Chakravarthy are breathing down their neck. Krunal Pandya and Krishnappa Gowtham complete the spinners quota. India are likely to field 3 spinners in every game. They are likely to play Chahal, Yadav, and Krunal in the starting few games. Gowtham, Chahar, and Chakravarthy will come into the picture later especially in the T20Is.
#1 Ishan Kishan or Sanju Samson
Rishabh Pant is India’s undisputed first-choice wicket-keeper batsman across formats. But there is a race between Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson for the 2nd keeper’s slot. Kishan and Samson are both fearless stroke-makers. Samson if not for a niggle would have started the SL ODI series. He is a more competent batsman of the two against spin. Kishan is more confident against the pacers. It is a battle that will be most keenly watched during this series.