International Cricket

India vs SL 2021: 1st T20I Unique Stats and Ideal Predicted Playing 11

India vs SL 2021: Team India expected to play a full-strength squad as we look at the ideal predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 1st T20I. 

With the series already in the bag at 2-0, Team India played a completely revamped squad with as many as 5 debutants and 6 playing 11 changes. A hard-fought battle in the third ODI went in Sri Lanka’s favor as Sri Lanka pulled off their first win against India at home since 2012. 

With the ODI series finishing 2-1 in India’s favor, the focus will now shift to the format that we love the most, the T20Is. Historically, India haven’t lost a bilateral series against Sri Lanka in T20Is. In the 19 matches, India and SL have played against each other, India have won 13, Sri Lanka have won 5 with 1 ending in No result. 

From the team’s point of view, It would be interesting to see whom does India play. As we stand before the first T20I, we have only 3 uncapped players left with other 3, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Chetan Sakariya already making their debuts.

So, looking at the overall squad, what could be the ideal playing 11 for Team India for the 1st T20I vs Sri Lanka? Before that, let’s look at the stats and records overview for India vs Sri Lanka T20Is. 

India vs Sri Lanka 2021: Key T20I Stats 

Total T20Is Played: 19

India: 13 Wins // Sri Lanka: 5 Wins // NR: 1

India vs Sri Lanka T20I Team Stats:  

260/5- Highest Team Total by Team India // Indore, 2017

82 – Lowest Team Total by Sri Lanka // Visakhapatnam, 2016

432 Highest Match Aggregate // Indore, 2017

78 runs Highest Victory by Runs Margin by Team India // Pune,2020

7 wickets Highest Victory by Wickets Margin by England // Indore, 2020

India vs Sri Lanka T20I Batting Stats:  

339 – Most Runs by Virat Kohli (India)

111.3 – Best Batting Average by Manish Pandey (India) (Min 150 Runs)

172.8 Highest Strike Rate by Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) (Min 150 Runs) 

118(43) – Highest Score by Rohit Sharma (India)

4 – Most 50+ Scores by Virat Kohli (India)

14 – Most Sixes by Rohit Sharma (India) and Thisara Perera (India)

33 – Most Fours by Virat Kohli (India)

India vs Sri Lanka T20I Bowling Stats:  

14 – Most Wickets by Yuzvendra Chahal (India)

8.6 – Best Bowling Average by Ravichandran Ashwin (India) (Min 7 Wickets)

4.9 – Best Economy Rate by Ravichandran Ashwin (India) (Min 7 Wickets)

9.6 – Best Bowling Strike Rate by Shardul Thakur (India)

4/8 – Best Bowling figures by Ravichandran Ashwin (India)

2 – Most 4-wicket haul by Yuzvendra Chahal (India)

2 – Most Maidens by Jasprit Bumrah (India)

18 – Most Dismissals by MS Dhoni (India)

India vs Sri Lanka 2021 Series – Official Squad for Team India: 

Batsmen: Devdutt Padikkal, Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Nitish Rana, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson (WK), Shikhar Dhawan (C) & Suryakumar Yadav   

All-rounders: Krishnappa Gowtham & Krunal Pandya

Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (VC), Chetan Sakariya, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy & Yuzvendra Chahal

Openers: Shikhar Dhawan & Prithvi Shaw

The ODI series saw the captain, Shikhar Dhawan, and his Delhi Capitals opening partner, Prithvi Shaw opening the innings for all the three ODIs. The T20I series shouldn’t be any different, and we should see the same duo opening in the T20I series. 

Performance wise, both, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw were good in the ODI series with Dhawan scoring 128 runs and Shaw scoring 105 runs from 3 innings. While Dhawan maintained an average of 64, Shaw hit 105 runs at a strike rate of 125. Both will be expected to perform better in the T20Is. 

Middle-order: Ishan Kishan & Sanju Samson (WK)

Ishan Kishan was rested in the third ODI, and Sanju Samson was given a go. With good returns from Sanju Samson, and poor returns from Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan should make a comeback in the T20I series in place of Manish Pandey. 

Finishers: Suryakumar Yadav & Hardik Pandya

Suryakumar Yadav was probably the best batsman of the series for Team India. Not only was he consistent, but he also scored quickly. With the kind of maturity he has shown, Team India could as well use Suryakumar Yadav in future senior tours.

While Suryakumar will play at 5, the original finisher for Team India, Hardik Pandya hasn’t done anything in the series as yet. He has been decent in the bowling department, and poor in the batting department. More than his bowling, Team India would need Hardik, the batsman to step up.   

Pacers: Deepak Chahar & Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were both rested in the last ODI to avoid any injury concern. After a break for a few days, the senior pace duo should be back for the first T20I. Given the batting heroics, Deepak can be played at 7 with Bhuvneshwar at 8. Even if required for batting, Deepak will be needed only for a few overs, which he can manage. 

Spinners: Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy & Rahul Chahar

Team India rested Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, and played Krishnappa Gowtham and Rahul Chahar as the leading spinner. Yuzi Chahal should be back for the T20I series as the leading spinner of the squad for the first match. Meanwhile, Rahul, whose game is more suited for T20s as compared to Kuldeep Yadav should be preferred as the second spinner.

The third spinner can see a fight between Krunal Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, and Varun Chakravarthy. Of the three, Varun Chakravarthy can be a good bet to strengthen the bowling department. India hasn’t been a good bowling unit in this series so far, and a quality fifth bowler would be god for the T20Is. 

India vs Sri Lanka 2021: Ideal Predicted Playing 11 for Team India for 1st T20I 

Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan (WK), Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal & Varun Chakravarthy.  

So that completes the predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 1st T20I vs SL. Overall, only 1 place is debatable, and that is the number 7 position. 

Thanks for reading! What’s your playing 11 for the 2021 India vs SL 1st T20I? Please, email your thoughts to

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