Team India will take part in a Test series against England starting from August 4th. After the loss in the WTC final, the Indians will be keen to bounce back. The tournament will involve five-Test encounters. Meanwhile, another Indian team will operate in Sri Lanka Tour In July. The games in Sri Lanka will only be ODIs and T20Is. Shikhar Dhawan will lead this squad.
However, if the Sri Lanka Tour In July also hosts a Test series, it will be interesting to predict the likely playing XI of Team India. With all seniors in India and considering the Ranji Trophy did not happen last season, the selectors could go with a mix of youth and experience for this scenario. Here is more on this in the below headings:
Openers If Test Series Happens On Sri Lanka Tour In July: Shikhar Dhawan (C) and Prithvi Shaw
The selectors will likely retain a similar opening combination for the Test series if it was occurring. Shikhar Dhawan has previously been part of the Indian Test Team. He is also been part of enough games to have the experience of tackling the responsibility. On the other hand, Prithvi Shaw played a game in Australia and was dropped for the England series. However, he is back in form and would have surely been given a chance for the five-day games.
Middle-Order: Priyank Panchal, Manish Pandey, Sheldon Jackson, and KS Bharat (WK)
Team India employs a specialist middle-order for the red-ball games. Hence, this area would be a concern if a simultaneous Test series occurs in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, taking into account experience and recent performances, India might have fielded Priyank Panchal, Manish Pandey, KS Bharat and Sheldon Jackson for the middle-order. Although both Sheldon and Bharat are wicket-keepers, both might be considered as they have been in good recent form. On the other hand, Panchal will come in purely because of his performances, while Manish seems to be the best bet at No.4.
All-Rounders If Test Series Happens On Sri Lanka Tour In July: Jalaj Saxena
There is a pool of all-rounders who have gone as part of the limited-overs squad to Sri Lanka. However, when it comes to the five-day format, the selectors might have chosen Jalaj Saxena. The Kerala player has been doing well in recent years, especially with his right-arm off-spin. He is also a reliable lower-order batsman.
Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Kuldeep Yadav and Jaydev Unadkat
Since the series would happen in Sri Lanka, the likely bowling combination would include two pacers only. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jaydev Unadkat would the best candidates in that case. While Bhuvi is capable of picking early wickets, Unadkat is in good form and deserves a chance.
In the spin department, both Shahbaz Nadeem and Kuldeep Yadav would have got a chance. Nadeem actually played in the first Test against England at the start of 2021. His left-arm off-spin would be useful on the turning tracks in Sri Lanka. Kuldeep Yadav is a long-time due of an opportunity in the five-day format. Hence, the Uttar Pradesh cricketer would have got a chance if a Test series was planned in July against Sri Lanka.