India vs Sri Lanka: Who should be the opener with Shikhar Dhawan?

As the India vs Sri Lanka ODI series will start from 13th July, we look at the list-A stats of Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Prtivi Shaw.
India vs Sri Lanka: Who should be the opener with Shikhar Dhawan?

India will be the first team in cricket history to play two bi-lateral series together with two different teams simultaneously. One Indian team will be playing in England and one will be in Sri Lanka. Already few controversies have been made about the India vs Sri Lanka tour. However, as per the Sri Lankan media, the Sri Lankan cricket board will be having a huge financial gain from this tour.

On the other hand, a former Sri Lankan captain has already questioned the Lankan board for playing against a B-string Indian team.

India vs Sri Lanka: ODI series details

  • The series will start from 13th July.
  • There will be 3 matches in the ODI series.
  • Rahul Dravid will be the head coach for the Indian team.
  • Three Sri Lankan players have been banned for breaching bio-bubble in England.
  • Dasun Shanaka will be the new captain of the Sri Lankan team.

The positive from the tour for the Indian team will be the comeback of few players. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will be under the limelight after a long time. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be another player under the scanner. In fact, Bhvneshwar Kumar will be the deputy to Shikhar Dhawan for this tour.

Rahul Dravid is the coach for India's tour to Sri Lanka. Image – India Today

For Manish Pandey, the tour will be a fight for survival. But the focus will be shifted to all the players who will debut in the tour. 8 out of 20 players in the squad is yet to don the Indian jersey. Now with Rahul Dravid confirming, "everyone will get a game", it is obvious that players like Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad will be debuting.

So the question arises that who should open with captain Shikhar Dhawan for the India vs Sri Lanka ODIs. Here are some stats of the available openers which might make you choose one.

India vs Sri Lankan: Who should be the opener with Shikhar Dhawan?

Now, as you have already seen all the stats, you might think you have the answer. Nope, you might be wrong in that case. We will give you a total explanation of the chances of who might play in India vs Sri Lanka ODI first.

#1 Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw playing for U-19 India. Image- INDIA TV

Prithvi has been one of the great finds of recent years. Despite injuries and some "bad habits", Shaw has been in the news for his batting. Prithvi has been in tremendous form from the last season. With his record-breaking Vijay Hazare and the decent IPL, we think he will get the nod ahead of other openers in the list.

In 41 List A matches, Prithvi has scored 2263 runs at an average of 58.18. However, the most interesting part is his strike rate. Shaw is a bluster of the ball and has a strike rate of 124.98; the most by anyone in the team. Moreover, Shaw has spent a lot of time with Rahul Dravid since his under-19 days.

With a left-right combination at the top of the order, we might see Shaw pairing with Dhawan for upcoming India vs Sri Lankan ODIs.

#2 Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ruturaj playing for team India-A. Image- ESPNCricinfo

If anyone who has toiled hard in the domestic circuit to get his maiden call-up is Ruturaj Gaikwad. The 24-year-old right-handed batsman from Maharashtra turned his luck around when he was picked by MS Dhoni's CSK. The trust that CSK and MS Dhoni had in Ruturaj changed his career. His partnership with Faf Du Plessis had taken notice in the first half of IPL 2021.

He had scored 400 runs in the IPL with an average of 36.4. Moreover, he blasted 5 half-centuries in 13 matches. Ruturaj has already played for India-A several times. Hence, it will be very tempting for the team management to try him at the top of the order along with Dhawan.

#3 Devdutt Padikkal

If you are playing with Virat Kohli and AB DeVilliers in the same team, you surely have some talent. Well, some say he is the future of the Indian batting line-up. Therefore, he has been given the opportunity very early like his idol, Virat Kohli.

Padikkal playing for RCB. Image- RCB

The left-hander from Karnataka has been piling up runs in the domestic circuit. Even with a star-studded Karnatak batting line-up, Padikkal has been on the top of the list among run-scorers for Karnataka.

Top 5 most runs in a Vijay Hazare season- SportzPoint

With consistent performances in the last two years, Padikkal earned the faith of RCB team management. With a hundred while batting alongside Kohli would have taken his confidence level higher. Padikkal has already hit 6 List A career hundreds in his 20 matches long list A career. Moreover, he averages 86.68 with the bat also.

Though we think Padikkal might be the last one to opportunity, you never know with Rahul Dravid in the charge.

Wrapping it up: India vs Sri Lanka- The opening slot

In the conclusion, we can say that with a much higher strike rate, Dhawan might be more suited with Shaw. Not to forget they open together for Delhi Capitals in the IPL. But, Gaikwad deserves his chance, which will surely be fulfilled under Rahul Dravid. Coming to Padikkal, we think he has the capability to outrun everyone on this list. But, he might have to wait a bit considering his less match experience.

But, it might be interesting to see if Dravid try some of them in the middle order to give them more opportunities. What are your thoughts on that?

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