Indian Cricket

India vs SL 2021: Perfect Playing 11 for Team India for the T20I series

India vs SL 2021: 3 Changes expected as we look at the perfect playing 11 for the T20I series. 

After a disappointing end to Team India’s World Test Championship journey with a loss in the WTC final, all eyes would now shift to Team India’s limited-overs series versus Sri Lanka. As many as 13 first-choice players won’t be featuring for the Sri Lanka tour, which means a quality bench strength would be tested. 

With Shikhar Dhawan at the helm and Rahul Dravid as the head coach, Team India have selected 20 members to play the ODI and T20I series starting July 13. It is interesting to note that, the same 20-member squad shall be featuring in both the series, but the selection of actual playing 11 may differ. 

In our last article, we covered Team India’s best playing 11 for the ODI series vs Sri Lanka. But will the same strongest playing 11 feature for the T20I series too? Well technically, if we follow the ‘horses for courses’ method, we should see 3 changes from the 11 that features in the ODI series. 

So, given the options, what is the perfect playing 11 for Team India for the 2021 T20I series vs SL? Let’s find out in this article. Before that let’s quickly skim through the official squad for Team India across different categories. 

India vs SL 2021- 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

Team India have selected 4 solid openers for the Sri Lanka tour in the form of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. When it comes to T20 format, and especially IPL, all four have been in great form in the last two years with Dhawan performing the best followed by Padikkal, Shaw, and Ruturaj. 

But when it comes to selecting the two perfect openers, it has to be the Delhi Capitals duo, Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. That means Devdutt Padikkal, who has been in stunning form playing for Karnataka and Royal Challengers Bangalore will have at least wait till the third T20I to feature in the playing 11. 

Middle-order: Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan & Hardik Pandya

Just like ODIs, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, and Sanju Samson should be confirmed starters for the T20I series too. The trio is among the senior-most candidates, and has been performing well in the IPL as well. But the fifth position should see Ishan Kishan being preferred above Manish Pandey for the T20I series. 

Ishan Kishan was preferred above Manish Pandey for the last England series. He started well having scored a fifty on his debut. While his IPL 2021 may not be good, it should just be a matter of spending some quality time in the middle to get back to form. Moreover, the format is such that Ishan Kishan’s returns are more lucrative than Manish Pandey’s. 

Spinners: Krishnappa Gowtham & Yuzvendra Chahal

While Krunal Pandya was selected in the ODI series as the fifth bowler and strong batting option at 7 in the ODI series, the T20I series should most-likely see Krishnappa Gowtham playing at 7. Gowtham can be an aggressive batsman down the order. He is also a good powerplay bowler, and can be really good against the lefties. 

Yuzvendra Chahal should once again start the T20I series as the leading spinner of the squad. While Rahul Chahar can also give a tough competition, Yuzi’s experience can be preferred more. However, if Hardik Pandya bowls, which looks like a rarety, Team India can also play Kuldeep for the third pacer. 

Pacers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar & Chetan Sakariya

The Pacers category should Bhuvneshwar Kumar leading the bowling alongside Deepak Chahar. The duo is the most experienced of the lot, and is also perfectly suited for the T20 format. However, the third pacer should see the emerging star Chetan Sakariya as the preferred option. 

Sakariya has been performing really well in the domestic T20 competitions. He also made an impressive debut in IPL 2021 having impressed with his variations and accuracy; mostly in the powerplays. With Saini not having good returns in IPL off late, Sakariya seems a better fit for the T20I format. 

India vs SL 2021: Perfect Playing 11 for Team India for the T20I Series:

Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (WK), Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Chetan Sakariya & Yuzvendra Chahal

India vs SL 2021 Perfect Playing 11 for the T20I Series
India vs SL 2021 Perfect Playing 11 for Team India for the T20I Series // Cricalytics

So that completes the perfect playing 11 for Team India for the 2021 T20I series vs SL. Comparing this team with the ODI team, 3 changes look most-probable. But knowing Rahul David’s ideology, we can see all 20 getting at least a game during the tour. 

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

ALSO READ: WTC 2019-21 Special: Champions vs Rest of the World Best Playing 11

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