India will be up against Sri Lanka from the last week of July. The series between number 1 and number 7 ranked teams will be exciting because India has a reputation to maintain whereas Sri Lanka would want to forget the disheartening defeat against Zimbabwe.
While Sri Lanka is going to play under new captains in the big series, India is all set to march. There are no surprising changes in the Indian squad except Ravi Shastri as a coach in a dressing room.
Here are top 5 Indian players who will play an important role in the series:
1.) Virat Kohli
Indian skipper Virat Kohli would like to continue his winning streak in this bilateral series as well and will lead from the front as he always does. Virat is in a niche form; he scored all his double centuries in last one year. We have seen some commendable flexibility in all the formats he plays. Though team haven’t played Test matches from March, but Kohli is mentally strong enough to change his approach towards this format. The maturity he brought in his captaincy with his natural aggressive flavour will be fearsome for hosts. If Sri Lanka wants to make any mark on this series, they will have to keep the skipper quiet.
2.) Cheteshwar Pujara
The modern wall, Cheteshwar Pujara, will be highly responsible for laying the foundation of India’s batting and he can certainly take care of it. His fine footwork to go deep in the crease and also going down the wicket against Rangana Herath and company will be crucial in Sri Lanka. He had a remarkable home Test season and is capable of producing long innings. Pujara was the Man of the match of the last Test against Sri Lanka in 2015 and his average of 83.17 in Asia make him a player to worry about for the hosts.
3.) Ravichandran Ashwin
Everyone knows what Ravichandran Ashwin can do with ‘Red ball’. He won the man of the series award in the last Sri Lanka tour for his all-round performance and we are expecting nothing different this time. Ashwin becomes unplayable in the subcontinent and he also gives a daunting depth in lower order with the bat. It will be interesting to see his bowling action, whether it is going be an old school Ashwin or has a changed action adopted for limited overs. Ashwin will lead the spin attack with Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.
4.) Ravindra Jadeja
As mentioned above Ashwin will lead the spin attack but he took those wickets in partnership with Ravindra Jadeja. Though this left arm spinner has failed to take a single wicket in last 4 ODIs but this format is different. Jadeja is a sharp turner of the ball that too with good speed. His batting with good strike rate in the lower order and his fielding makes him the complete package. He had some clinical performances in last few Test series. There are same expectations from him in this series as well.
5.) Umesh Yadav
One simply can’t forget the last Test spell of Umesh Yadav against Australia. He is the most evolved test player in past years, also he is less prone to injuries. Though he had an average statistics in Champion’s Trophy and in West Indies tour but he will be taking charge of pace attack to get an early break through. Umesh is reversing the old balls really well. A healthy spell of 7-8 overs with good speed and rhythm from Yadav will take some pressure off from spinners.