International Cricket

India vs SL 2021: Ideal Predicted Playing XI for 3rd ODI – 3 Big changes

India vs SL 2021: Sanju Samson expected to return as we look at the ideal predicted playing 11 for Team India for 3rd ODI.

2-0 is what the current series scoreline reads as Team India completed yet another series victory against Sri Lanka. It’s been more than 24 years since Sri Lanka last won a bilateral ODI series against India. The victory in the 2nd ODI is also Team India’s 10th successive win against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.

The young guns of Team India have been absolutely fearless in this series so far. Starting with Prithvi Shaw at the top, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav in the middle-order, or the match-winning exceptional effort of Deepak Chahar, it has been a positive sight to watch them play.

As we move into the third ODI with the series already under the belt, Team India would be in the mood to try new players. India may not go for a complete overhaul, but can rest a few important players to give chance to a few other youngsters waiting for their turn.

So, what could be the ideal predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 3rd ODI vs SL 2021? Let’s find out the possible replacements. Before that, let’s quickly also skim through the official squad for the tour for Team 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 and Prithvi Shaw

Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw did exceptionally well in the first ODI before seeing a failure in the second ODI. The good thing however is that both have looked confident at the top as they ideally look while playing for Delhi Capitals.

While Dhawan would continue as the captain opener of the team, Team India would be reluctant to rest Prithvi Shaw, who is looking for some good runs under his belt to get his prime confidence back. Hence expect Team India to stick to the same opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. 

Middle-order: Ishan Kishan, and Sanju Samson (WK), and Suryakumar Yadav

Just like Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan was fantabulous in the first ODI. He even registered the second-fastest fifty on debut off 33 balls. Kishan was fearless in the first ODI, but succumbed to a failure in the second ODI. But Team India would not be in favor of dropping Kishan as he also needs good game time under the belt.

Sanju Samson was ruled out of the first ODI due to injury, and was not considered for the second ODI as Team India didn’t want to change the winning combination. But with series under the belt, and Manish Pandey’s below-average returns, Sanju Samson should most-likely get a game in the third ODI. 

Suryakumar Yadav has been exceptional in both the ODIs he has played so far. He currently boasts a strike rate of 131.3 playing at 5, which shows his flawless mindset while batting in the middle overs. He would have been kicking himself for not finishing the second ODI, and he would want to make amends in the third ODI.      

All-rounders: Hardik Pandya & Krunal Pandya

Team India would be extremely happy to see Hardik Pandya, the bowler giving those valuable overs as a sixth bowler. But one thing which India expects more from Hardik is his batting. He didn’t get a chance in the first ODI, and failed in the second ODI. Team India would expect more of him in the third ODI. 

Krunal, on the other hand, has been good in the batting as well as the bowling department. In the 18 overs he has bowled, he gave away just 63 runs at an economy rate of 3.5. In the batting too he made a valuable 35 in the second ODI. He should most-likely play in the third ODI too to get more game time.  

Pacers: Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini

The second ODI saw Deepak Chahar, the batsman doing something that was rare to think of. Known predominately for his bowling, Deepak played a match-winning 69* batting at number 8 to complete an improbable win. He has been good in the bowling too having accounted for 4 wickets. Team India would want to utilize his confidence in the third ODI too.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has looked itchy so far in both the ODIs. While he did take 3 wickets in the second ODI, that was after conceding 54 runs. By giving Bhuvneshwar Kumar some rest before the T20I series, Team India would want to give Navdeep Saini a chance to shine in the last ODI. 

Spinners: Kuldeep Yadav & Rahul Chahar

Kuldeep Yadav started the first match with a good spell, but in the second ODI, he wasn’t up to the mark. He has been struggling for form in the last two years, but he is a far better bowler than what his stats say. While Team India won’t drop or rest him, they would expect Kuldeep to back to his original self.

However, the second spinner spot can see Team India resting Yuzvendra Chahal and bringing in Rahul Chahar. Rahul Chahar has been excellent in the last two years playing for Mumbai Indians. While Rahul Chahar has debuted in T20Is, If he does play the third ODI, it should be his debut in ODIs. 

India vs Sri Lanka 2021: Ideal Predicted Playing 11 for Team India for 3rd ODI:

Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan (WK), Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar & Kuldeep Yadav. 

So that completes the ideal predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 3rd ODI vs Sri Lanka. Ideally, we should see Team India do 2-3 changes or even more. This will make sure Team India tries more players on the tour. But with a new coach Rahu Dravid in place, Team India may as well not do any changes. 

Thanks for reading! What’s your playing 11 for the 2021 India vs SL 3rd ODI? Please, email your thoughts to

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