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As BCCI announced the test squad for the upcoming WTC final, which will remain in England throughout July and play the following test series with England in August, there remains the question of the squad which will face Sri Lanka for the white ball series in the neighbouring island. Read on to learn the options BCCI could possibly use.

As BCCI announced the test squad for the upcoming WTC final, which will remain in England throughout July and play the following test series with England in August, there remains the question of the squad which will face Sri Lanka for the white ball series in the neighbouring island. Read on to learn the options BCCI could possibly use.

The talent pool available in the country for professional cricket is immense. Even if you subtract the senior superstars, India still has enough bench strength in all formats to create a separate side, just as formidable in terms of talent if not reputation. And this talent is available for all formats too!

Since the World Test Championship final is the finale of an ICC tournament, allotment preference is given to the test side for now. Superstars of the game like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah are also India’s primary all-format players. The fact that none of these players, amongst others, would be available for selection for an international white-ball tournament against Sri Lanka give the BCCI a new headache; Who to give a shot? Who to pick to make the best of this unique situation? Let’s find out the options based on positions.

Opening Batsmen

Shikhar Dhawan has been the prime choice for the opening batsman role in white-ball cricket for almost a decade now. Even when the team Is full strength, he is one of the most important and senior batsmen in the Indian white-ball side. He is also a great candidate for captaincy because of his experience.

Partnering him in both the ODI and T20 setup could be his Delhi Capitals opening partner Prithvi Shaw. In the past, he had had some bad luck in an Indian shirt when he was opening the tests in Australia. Since then, he has showcased a change in technique and attitude in the IPL this year.

Alternate options could be debutants Rituraj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal, who have been impressive opening batsmen in the last two IPLs.

Middle Order

The middle-order is the engine room where games are built. Depending on the format, this order could change up. The ideal candidates include the recently impressive debutants Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav. They both have shown attacking batting capabilities along with situation maturity, so they can both be swapped for either side.

Other players would include Shreyas Iyer (subject to fitness), who would also make a great captain. Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey are accomplished batsmen who could seem in contention for proper middle-order roles. But that leaves space for stocking up and testing the lower middle order.

Lower Middle Order

This is the space where the all-rounders fit in. Hardik Pandya was considered and talked about as the choice fast bowling all-rounder for the test team but was left out. It was probably because of the white ball series. He will be an integral part of the plans for this tour, and so will be his brother Krunal.

These two are more than capable of managing the lower middle order and also bowl crucial overs. Other options include Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, and Vijay Shankar.

Bowlers

This department is where India has no problem in stocking up. Veteran Bhuvaneshwar Kumar was left out of the test side after much speculation.       But that could mean that he can have a little more time adjusting to things and getting back into the groove before coming back to the red ball side.

Recent bowlers that have made international debuts and impressed include T. Natrajan, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, and Navdeep Saini. All these bowlers could come in really handy and give a lot of options to the coach and selectors. Deepak Chahar is another option which works really well in swinging conditions. He also has the best ever T20 international figures of 6-7 against Sri Lanka itself.

In terms of spinners, there are plenty as well. The combination of Kul-Cha could be reunited; Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya can bowl handy overs as well. For T20s, young bowlers like Ravi Bishnoi and Arshdeep Singh from Punjab Kings could make their debuts based on impressive IPL performances.

By Divyanshu Gupta

Writer | Cricket Enthusiast | Musician| Welcome to my mind! I relate most regular hardships with Test Cricket. The irregular ones, I write about in my Death Metal band KillKount. You're welcome to stay! @mickount

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