International Cricket

India vs Sri Lanka 2021: Combined Best Playing 11 for the ODI Series

India vs Sri Lanka 2021: Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw to open as we look at the combined best playing 11 for the ODI series. 

In what can be called an expected result, the Indian team dominated Sri Lanka in yet another ODI series. They have managed to maintain their unbeaten streak against Sri Lanka; a record that goes back to 1997 when they last lost a bilateral series vs Sri Lanka.

While the final series scoreline reads 2-0, it could have easily been 3-0 had India and Rahul Dravid not experimented in the last ODI by making 6 changes including 5 debutants. Nevertheless, the young guns of Team India made sure India continue their winning streak against Sri Lanka. 

In terms of individual performance, there were a few exceptional performances. So, if we had to find the 11 best players of the ODI series, who would make it? Let’s find in our India vs Sri Lanka 2021 combined best playing 11 for the ODI series. Before that, let’s quickly skim through our methodology. 

Stats Wizard Analysis Methodology:

Batting: As always, we have analyzed the batting performances basis the batting rating calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as runs scored, consistency, the number of match-winning & good knocks, acceleration bonus, and power-hitting bonus. 

Bowling: We have analyzed the bowling performances basis the bowling rating calculated from the overall aspect of the game such as wickets taken, consistency, the number of match-winning and good spells, number of maidens bowled, and economy rate bonus. 

Overall, the team of 11 is selected basis the performance rating, and only players who have performed well in their respective positions are selected. The team combination of 2 openers, 3-4 middle-order players, 1-2 all-rounders, 2-3 pacers, and at least 1 spinner is given precedence in the squad. Also, only players who have played at least 2 matches are considered for evaluation. 

#1: Shikhar Dhawan (India) – 6.4

Inns: 3 // Runs: 128 // SR: 88.9 // HS: 86*

The leading run-scorer for Team India, Dhawan continued is golden run against Sri Lanka in ODIs. He already held the record of highest average against Sri Lanka in ODIs, and his 128 runs at an average of 64 only betters it. While Dhawan had a failure in the all-important third ODI, overall, he was decent with a captain’s knock in the first match. 

#2: Prithvi Shaw (Sri Lanka) – 6.7

Inns: 3 // Runs: 105 // SR: 125 // HS: 49

Shaw continued from where he left in IPL 2021. The confidence is back, and the batting style now completely replicates that of Virender Sehwag. He made two quick-fire 40s and a failure in the three one. Overall with 105 runs at a strike rate of 125, the stats look decent, but we would have liked the runs column to be better. 

#3: Avishka Fernando (Sri Lanka) – 7.2

Inns: 3 // Runs: 159 // SR: 77.9 // HS: 76

The leading run-scorer of the series, Avishka looked flawless in all three innings with the scores reading 33, 50, and a match-winning 76. It only got better and better for Avishka, who would now play an important role in the T20Is. Overall, Avishka finished with 159 runs from 3 innings at a good average of 53. If only his strike rate of 77.9 was better, his rating would have been further improved.

#4: Ishan Kishan (WK) (India) – 6.1

Inns: 2 // Runs: 60 // SR: 130.4 // HS: 59

What a debut Ishan Kishan has had playing for Team India. Not only in T20Is but Kishan also managed to score a 50 on his debut in ODIs too. A fearless character that he is, Kishan went on to score the second-fastest fifty on debut in ODIs off 33 balls. While Kishan got a failure in the second innings, and didn’t play in the third one, he was still a better keeper between both teams. 

#5: Suryakumar Yadav (India) – 9.1

Inns: 3 // Runs: 124 // SR: 122.8 // HS: 53

No doubt the Player of the series winner, Surya was excellent as a batsman in the ODI series. Not only was he consistent but he also was belligerent with his batting. His knocks in the series read 31*(20), 53(44), and 40(37). It was him that provided the much-needed momentum in the middle overs, and drifted the game in India’s favo. 

#6 & #7: Dasun Shanaka (7) and Chamika Karunaratne- 7.3

Inns: 3 // Runs: 55 // Wkts 2 – Inns: 3 // Runs: 90 // Wkts: 1 // SR: 115.4

The all-rounders of the team, Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka’s captain, and aggressive Chamika Karunaratne complemented each other quite well at 6 and 7 respectively. In competition, they had Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya, who weren’t as good as the Sri Lankans. While Shanaka managed a decent 55 runs and 2 wickets at an economy rate of 3.9, Chamika scored a quick-fire 90 at a strike rate of 115 and took a wicket. 

#8: Deepak Chahar (India) – 10

Inns: 3 // Wkts: 4 // Runs: 69 // HS: 69*

The MVP for Team India, Deepak can be termed the main reason why India won the series. He single-handedly helped India win the second ODI from a position that looked almost impossible. On top of it, Deepak also took 4 wickets with spells reading 2/37 and 2/53, which is a fine effort. 

#9: Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka) – 7.6

Inns: 2 // Wkts: 3 // ER: 4.3 // BBI: 3/37

The second spinner of the combined best playing 11, Wanindu Hasaranga couldn’t play the third ODI due to injury, but did well in the first two. He took a total of 3 wickets from 2 innings at a good economy rate of 4.3. He was one of the two bowlers, who wasn’t difficult to score for the Indians. 

#10: Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India) – 6

Inns: 2 // Wkts: 3 // ER: 6.2 // BBI: 3/54

The vice-captain of the team, Bhuvneshwar started the series with a failure before bouncing back with a good 3-wicket haul. He was rested in the third match, but finished with a good 3 wickets. However, if Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, or Akila Dhananjaya had played at least 1 match more, they would have deserved the selection more than Bhuvneshwar Kumar. 

#11: Yuzvendra Chahal (India) – 10

Inns: 2 // Wkts: 5 // ER: 5.1 // BBI: 3/50

Without a doubt the best bowler of the series, Chahal finished with 5 wickets from 2 innings at a good economy rate of 5.1 He bowled well in both the matches before getting rested in the third ODI. A return to form is a blessing for Team India, who would now look more threatening in the T20I series.

India vs Sri Lanka 2021 – Combined Best Playing 11 for the ODI series: 

Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Avishka Fernando, Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, Deepak Chahar, Wanindu Hasaranga, Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Yuzvendra Chahal. 

So that completes the combined best playing 11 for the ODI series. Overall, the likes of Sanju Samson, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Skariya, Akila Dhananjaya, and Praveen Jayawickrama bowled well in the single match they played. Only if they had played 1 more, they would have replaced a few of the above-mentioned players. 

Thanks for reading! What’s your combined best playing 11 of the 2021 India vs Sri Lanka ODI series? Please email your thoughts to

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