Siraj ruled out, fit Shardul to return, KulCha reunion doubtful

Rohit Sharma faces a tough challenge in choosing between Axar Patel and Shardul Thakur for India Playing XI vs West Indies

The Test series is done and dusted and the Indian Cricket team turns their focus to white-ball cricket. The Men in Blue will take on West Indies in a 3-match ODI series and that brings the headache of choosing India Playing XI. Among these headaches, Rohit Sharma will have a tough job to choose between the likes of Axar Patel and Kuldeep.

The ODI team is more or less set for skipper Rohit Sharma barring a few spots like the wicketkeepers and the choice of the third spinner. Among the players fighting for their spot in the team, it will be interesting to see Sharma opting for Sanju Samson in place of Ishan Kishan. On the other hand, it will be a last-minute call for the skipper to choose between Axar and Kuldeep.

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The top order remains the same with the formidable opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. Unlike the Test series, there will be no tinkering in the opening duo. Shubman Gill dropped to number 3 in the red ball cricket to pave the way for youngster Yashasvi Jaiswal to showcase his masterclass.

Virat Kohli retains his original, number 3 spot while Mr. 360, Suryakumar Yadav slots in at number 4. This needs to be a litmus test for SKY to showcase his grit in ODIs or else he can most likely lose his spot in the playing XI in the World Cup once Shreyas Iyer returns.

India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma FRETS over Axar vs Shardul, NO Chance of KulCha REUNION in IND vs WI 1st ODI

Sanju Samson GETS his Light under the Sun

It was Ishan Kishan who snatched his spot in the Test squad from KS Bharat but in the ODIs it will be Sanju Samson who gets his chance while Ishan Kishan will be rested. The decision is simple, everyone gets a chance and is fit for the World Cup. Whoever will be able to grab his chance and perform well will be in contention for a spot in the World Cup.

Though it will be KL Rahul who is the designated wicketkeeper for India in the ODIs, but with the Asia Cup and the ICC World Cup in the horizon, this will be a perfect opportunity to try and test out either of Sanju Samson and Ishan Kishan.

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Three All Rounders!

Down the lower order, India needs finishers who will be able to finish the games for India when the top order fails. And that sis exactly why the Men in Blue will look to field three all-rounders. Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja are automatic picks in the Playing XI. The duo compliments each other while Hardik provides the option of moving up and down the order.

But the question remains regarding the third all-rounder. Will it be Axar Patel or Shardul Thakur. The former missed both the Test matches against their Caribbean counterparts while the latter played the first game but missed the second with a left groin injury. It will entirely dependent on Rohit Sharma to choose either of the duo based on the pitch conditions. If it is a slow pitch, Axar gets the nod ahead of Lord Thakur.

India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma FRETS over Axar vs Shardul, NO Chance of KulCha REUNION in IND vs WI 1st ODI

Md Siraj spearheads PACE attack, No Chance of Kul-Cha Reunion

In the absence of Mohammed Shami, it will Mohammed Siraj who will spearhead the pace attack. He will be joined by the Fast and Furious Umran Malik. India’s T20 skipper Hardik Pandya will also get his fair share of bowling while a fourth pacer can be in the likes of Shardul Thakur if the pitch is fast.

In terms of the spin department, there is, however, no chance of a Kul-Cha reunion. Yuzvendra Chahal is not in the plans for the ODIs and will be on the bench. Kuldeep Yadav is expected to start having played his last ODI back in March against Australia. Yadav will be supported by Jadeja and Axar in terms of weaving the spin magic.

India Playing XI vs West Indies

1. Rohit Sharma (C)
2. Shubman Gill
3. Virat Kohli
4. Suryakumar Yadav
5. Sanju Samson (wk)
6. Hardik Pandya
7. Ravindra Jadeja
8. Axar Patel/Shardul Thakur
9. Kuldeep Yadav
10. Mohammed Siraj
11. Umran Malik

India’s ODI squad: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar.

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