Ambati Rayudu ended his long wait to score a match-winning hundred for India in the second ODI © IANS
Ambati Rayudu ended his long wait to score a match-winning hundred for India in the second ODI © IANS

Virat Kohli led India will take on a deflated Sri Lanka in the third One-day International (ODI) at Hyderabad on Sunday. Hosts are already leading the five match series 2-0 and they would like to seal the series in this game. There are no changes expected in the Indian side, unless it’s a forced one. Here is India’s likely playing XI for this crucial encounter analysed by Sandipan Banerjee  

1. Shikhar Dhawan:  Dhawan is having a good series against Sri Lanka. Before a difficult tour of Australia, he would like to spend as much time as possible at the crease. He is the leading run scorer in this series so far with 192 runs. So He would like to continue his good run at Hyderabad as well.

2. Ajinkya Rahane: After his brilliant hundred at Cuttack, Rahane missed out in second game. Opening the innings in ODIs in sub continental pitches is a blessing for any batsman. Rahane would not want to miss out at this golden opportunity. As an opener Rahane was quite successful for India. And if he continues his good show in the remaining matches of this series, Indian team management can seriously think about using him at the top of the order in limited overs games in Australia.

3. Ambati Rayudu: Rayudu’s heroics in the second ODI has silenced his critics. But if Rayudu wants to confirm his name in India’s World Cup playing XI, the Guntur boy needs to keep scoring. He will be tested in the bouncy tracks of Australia. But before that in the last three games of this series, Rayudu would like to make as meny runs as possible.

4. Virat Kohli (c): Kohli is having a decent series both as a Captain and as batsman. Since the Delhi ODI against West Indies he got back his form and making the most use of it. It will be interesting to see at which number he will come out to bat in the third ODI against Sri Lanka.  

5. Suresh Raina: In recent few series’ Raina has emerged as India’s most in-form batsman. He can even look for a spot in India’s Test squad for the Australia series. So before the Australian series he needs to impress the selectors with bat to earn a place in India’s Test team.

6. Wriddhiman Saha (wk): Saha hardly got any opportunity to impress with bat in this series. Though behind the wickets, he was brilliant as usual.

7. Ravindra Jadeja: Akshar Patel’s good show in recent past has put some pressure on Jadeja to perform. With ball he is doing fine, but with bat in hand, the Saurashtra southpaw needs to score some more runs.

8. Akshar Patel: In the limited opportunities he got, Patel impress everyone. He is the highest wicket taker of the series so far with four wickets. The left arm spinner replaced experienced Amit Mishra, which shows team management’s faith on him.

9. Ravichandran Ashwin: After taking a break in the West Indies series, Ashwin is making a mini comeback in the team. In the two matches he has done decently.

10. Umesh Yadav: Umesh Yadav is the joint highest wicket taker of the series with Patel. With new ball he took important wickets. Before the Australia tour, this is a good work out for the Nagpur boy.

11. Ishant Sharma: Sharma also has four wickets in two matches of this series. He needs to continue his good show to keep India in the comfort zone in terms of bowling.

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)