Colombo: The Indian cricket team, not the Virat Kohli-led side, but a Shikhar Dhawan-led outfit will take on an inexperienced Sri Lankan side in a white-ball series starting Sunday (July 18). Not only will this be Rahul Dravid’s first assignment as a coach, but also could be a much-needed opportunity for young players to make a mark ahead of the T20 World Cup.

The Lankan tour will start with the ODIs. There are big questions that would have answers after the series. But as of now, let us look at the possible XI that would take the field for the first ODI.

Without much doubt, captain Dhawan would open the batting with his Delhi Capitals teammate Prithvi Shaw at the top. Manish Pandey, who has not been able to cement a place on the national side, would look to impress. For Pandey, it could be his last chance to revive his ODI career. In fact, there could be some shuffling between Suryakumar Yadav and Pandey for the No 3 and 4 spots in the XI.

There would be a toss-up between Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan for the wicketkeeper’s slot. The gut says that the management would back Samson over Kishan initially. This would be a tricky choice for Dravid and Co.

The wicketkeeper would be followed by the two all-rounders. Hardik Pandya and Krunal would feature in the XI as the all-rounders, while Yuzvendra Chahal could be picked as the sole specialist spinner in the side.

Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar along with Chetan Sakariya could be the three seamers. Sakariya, if picked, would be making his international debut after impressing in the IPL.

India’s Predicted XI For SL ODIs: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Chetan Sakariya