COLOMBO, July 22:
India coach Rahul Dravid will have to choose between experimenting and continuing the winning combination in his bid to ensure a clean sweep against Sri Lanka in the third and final one-dayer here tomorrow.
While Shikhar Dhawan-led India won the first game by seven wickets, Deepak Chahar pulled a heist in the second one with his match-winning unbeaten 69 as the visitors won by three wickets.
Now, it remains to be seen whether India continue with Prithvi Shaw, who got scores of 43 and 13, to partner the skipper at the top, or go in for classy Devdutt Padikkal or an equally elegant Ruturaj Gaikwad — both superb List A players.
If Shaw gets another opportunity, he would be more than keen to get a big score, as he failed to convert his start in the first game.
Another dilemma for the team management would be whether to persist with aggressive Ishan Kishan or give an opportunity to Sanju Samson, another hard-hitting batsman, to make his ODI debut.
The likes of Manish Pandey and ever-improving Suryakumar Yadav are certain to maintain their places as the duo are the middle-order backbone.
With vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar making it clear that there are no fitness issues with Hardik Pandya, the flamboyant Baroda player and his brother all-rounder Krunal are expected to play.
There are times when every player does not want to rest and play each game, but the team management would need to consider the workload of the bowlers, as they are playing six matches in just 12 days in humid Sri Lankan conditions.
In the two previous games, the Indian bowlers managed to contain the inexperienced Sri Lankan batting-line up and pulled things back.
While Bhuvneshwar could continue to lead the attack, it remains to be seen whether the team management opts for young Navdeep Saini or uncapped impressive left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya in place of last game’s hero Deepak Chahar, who has been exceptional with his knuckle-ball. (PTI)