International Cricket

India vs Sri Lanka 2023: ODI Series Best Predicted Playing 11

Rohit Sharma back to lead as we look at the strongest predicted playing 11 for the 2023 India vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI.  

Please note: The following article has been updated after Jasprit Bumrah was ruled out of the ODI series vs Sri Lanka. 

After the successful completion of the T20 Series vs Sri Lanka where India won 2-1, Team India now kick-start their most important format of the year, ODIs. The ODI series vs Sri Lanka marks the beginning of the first step India would be taking in preparation for the marquee event scheduled later this year.

Unlike the T20 Series which saw a lot of youngsters in the squad along with Hardik Pandya as captain, the ODI series shall see many senior players returning to the squad. Rohit Sharma is back as Captain of the squad along with key players like Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, and others.

Except for Rishabh Pant and Ravindra Jadeja, the rest 17 players are almost in line with the ODI core that BCCI talked about for ODI World Cup 2023. Given the wide availability of options, It would be damn interesting to see what playing 11 does Team India adopt. Meanwhile, as per the leading website, Betway, India are favourite to win the 1st ODI with odds at 1.10.  

India vs Sri Lanka 2023: Official ODI Series Squad for Team India

Batters: Rohit Sharma [c], Shreyas Iyer, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav & Virat Kohli

Wks: Ishan Kishan & KL Rahul

All-rounders: Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya [vc] & Washington Sundar

Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik & Yuzvendra Chahal

Match Details:

Tournament: India vs Sri Lanka 2023

Type: 1st ODI

Where: Guwahati

When: January 10, 1:30 pm IST

Pitch Type: Generally favours Spin. So, expect teams to play more spinners

Team India’s Playing 11

Never did we ever feel we will have a headache while selecting the playing 11 as we are feeling right now. With senior players returning and the performances of some of the backup players being impressive, many players are in Contention for the final playing 11. Unfortunately, only 11 players can make it. 


One of the key selection debates would be the selection of the openers. India have three options available in the form of Captain Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill. Ideally, given the most recent performance, we should see a left-right combination of Rohit Sharma and Ishan Kishan. However, as understood from the press conference, Rohit will stick with Shubman Gill as the first-choice option. 

India can also look at one more option if they have to accommodate Suryakumar Yadav in the middle-order. Now, this could be on the selectors’ minds as Shreyas Iyer has been good in ODIs, so can’t drop him. Whereas Suryakumar Yadav is too good to ignore. So, just in case India go this route, we should see Rohit Sharma opening along with KL Rahul. However, this move looks unlikely for now. 

The middle-order should invariably look at Virat Kohli at the number 3 position, Shreyas Iyer at the number 4 position and most-likely KL Rahul at the number 5 position. This seems the most ideal combination. But if India play KL Rahul as opener, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav will fill the middle-order slots.


The all-rounder could once again be an interesting selection part for Team India. Hardik should play at the number 6 position. But who will join him at the number 7 position? Well, we have Washington Sundar and Axar Patel for this role. Talking the cue from the T20 Series, we should see India opting for Axar Patel above Washington as the second all-rounder if only one had to be selected. 

But India can also play both Washington Sundar and Axar Patel in two scenarios. One is if India play only three pacers, Axar, Sundar, and Chahal can play together. This way, India will have batting depth till 8. Another way will be if India don’t play Chahal. That way, Sundar and Axar will be key spinners and India would have batting depth till 8. But we should mostly see India opting for the 3 pacers + 3 spinners route for the Guwahati pitch. 


Talking about bowlers, here’s another headache for Team India. The senior bowlers, Mohammed Shami and Yuzvendra Chahal didn’t feature in the ODI series vs Bangladesh. Fortunately or unfortunately, their backups did a brilliant job. But with the senior trio returning, the backups could be left out for now. 

So, we should see Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj as two key pacers with Yuzvendra Chahal as the key spinner. However, if India play 3 pacers, we should see Arshdeep Singh being given an opportunity. Moroever, India can also persist with Kuldeep Yadav, but would like to give Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal a go first.

India vs Sri Lanka 2023 –  1st ODI Predicted Playing 11 for India:

Rohit Sharma [c], Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul [wk], Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj & Yuzvendra Chahal

India vs Sri Lanka 2023 – 1st ODI Predicted Playing 11 for Sri Lanka:

Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis [wk], Avishka Fernando, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka [c], Wanindu Hasaranga, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madhushanka & Kasun Rajitha

So, that’s about the best predicted playing 11 for Team India for the 2023 1st ODI vs Sri Lanka. It’s the best attempt at arriving at the playing 11. But what strategy would India adopt would be very interesting to see? Whatever thinking they adopt, it will help us understand the top 12-13 players that India would have as their preferred options. 

Thanks for reading! What’s your playing 11 for Team India for the 2023 1st ODI vs Sri Lanka? Please email your comments to

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