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India has an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka © IANS

With an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, India couldn’t ask for anything more at the present stage other than sitting comfortably at the driver’s seat with no body to remove them. With nothing to lose in the next couple of games, it would be interesting how skipper, Virat Kohli would field the next squad in the upcoming fourth ODI at the infamous Eden Gardens in Kolkata. With the series already in pocket, Kohli has the license to rotate the squad and try out with new faces in the team as the build-up to the World Cup is perfectly on and this could be a vital stage to check who all are worthy of making it to the World Cup squad. Ayush Gupta predicts India’s likely line-up for the fourth ODI.

Top Order: With Shikhar Dhawan being rested after an impressive performance in the first three games, it’s time for Rohit Sharma to come in and make an impact before he leaves for Australia. He would definitely be along with his partner Ajinkya Rahane who is most-likely to open the batting. Followed by him could well be the skipper, Kohli who perfectly fits in the third spot.

Middle Order: The middle order should begin with wicketkeeper-batsman, Robin Uthappa who could well fit in the place of Wriddhiman Saha in the playing eleven. He would then be followed by in-form Suresh Raina along with either of Kedar Jadhav who had a good run in Australia with the India A team and would love to prove a point to the selectors if Kohli happens to give him a chance or wicketkeeper-batsman, Naman Ojha who had a good run in the domestic circuit this season as well. The order could end well with either of all-rounder, Ravindra Jadeja or Akshar Patel with both being in good form.

Bowling Attack: The lower down should consist of a spinner either in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin or Karn Sharma. However, Kohli must make sure that there should be at least one specialised and experienced spinner in the squad, thus making a choice between Jadeja-Karn or Akshar-Ashwin. The end three of the line-up has to be the fast bowlers in the form of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav. However, if Varun Aaron is declared fit to play, Umesh could miss out.

Overall, changes are surely to be expected, but it would be interesting to see if Kohli makes too many and give the youngsters a chance all at once or would keep some reserved for the final game. With the ICC ODI top spot at the back of his mind, it would surely be wise for him to have some experienced players in the squad.

Likely XI for India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina, Naman Ojha/Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja/Akshar Patel, Ravichndran Ashwin/Karn Sharma, Bhuvaneshwar Kaumr, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer)