The hosts claimed victory in the final ODI to show that they won't be pushovers, and a change in format could help them play with more freedom. India's first-choice squad in England have been left a touch shorthanded due to injury, eliciting reports that players like Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav and Devdutt Padikkal could be called up for cover. However, nothing is official as of now, and India have a full squad to choose from.
This is the last scheduled international T20I series for India ahead of the T20 World Cup, so they will need to ensure that their plans are in order. Fringe players need to do well if they are to be considered for the marquee ICC event.
India's squad: 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 is India's predicted playing XI for the first T20I against Sri Lanka.
Openers: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw didn't get to spend a lot of time together at the crease in the ODI series, but both batsmen are in good nick. It's just a question of them striking the right balance between attack and defense - something they didn't do very well in the longer format.
Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad, both of whom played well in the Indian Premier League, should remain on the bench for now.
Middle Order: Ishan Kishan (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson
Manish Pandey's disappointing showing in two of the three ODIs might result in him being dropped from the side in favor of younger, more aggressive players.
Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan, who had their moments in the ODI series, could play together for the first time on this tour. The ODI leg's Man of the Series Suryakumar Yadav will, of course, be part of the shortest-format side.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya
Hardik Pandya is under pressure to deliver a good performance after coming up short in the ODI series in both departments. However, he cranked up the pace in the final ODI in what was an encouraging sign for someone who's still coming to grips with bowling consistent spells.
Krunal Pandya, who was rested for the final ODI of the series, should make his way back into the side. The left-arm spinning all-rounder will play a vital restrictive role in the middle overs.
Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy
India's premier pacers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar, should also return to the side for the first T20I. Both bowlers will look to improve their displays at the death against Sri Lanka.
India are spoilt for choice in the spin department, but one thing is for certain - they will look to hand Varun Chakravarthy his international debut in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup. Kuldeep Yadav and Krishnappa Gowtham might find themselves on the bench in such a scenario, leaving Yuzvendra Chahal and Rahul Chahar to fight it out for the final spot.
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Chahal was superb in the first ODIs, using his pace variations and flight to scalp five wickets. However, it can be argued that Rahul Chahar's bowling is better suited to the T20I format. Not only was he exceptional in the Indian Premier League earlier this year, but he has also done well whenever he has taken to the field for India. The young leggie is capable of bowling to left-handers as well.
This could go either way, but Chahar might be given another chance to prove his worth to India's T20I side.