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India vs Sri Lanka: Who'll make the cut for the upcoming tour?

Rohan Raj | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:22 IST

After a long break during the Zimbabwe tour, India's popular cricketers will be seen back in action as their team embarks on the Sri Lankan tour starting from 12 August. The national selection committee will announce the Indian squad for the three-match Test series against the Lankans after their meet on 23 July.

The five-men selection committee would have very little to fret on while picking the squad for the longer format where at least 13 players will automatically select themselves. However, the third specialist spinner's slot in the Indian team will be the subject of much deliberation when the Sandeep Patil-led selection committee meets tomorrow.

It will also be interesting to find out whether it will be a 15 or 16-member squad for the three-match series.

Here's a look at the players who are likely to be included in the Indian squad for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka:

Indian batsmen

The six specialist batsmen who are automatic choices are openers Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan, skipper Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma and A team captain Cheteshwar Pujara. Young KL Rahul, who missed out against Bangladesh due to dengue, is likely to come back as the seventh batsman.

Indian bowlers

The three pacers, who are likely to make the cut are Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Pacer Varun Aaron is also a certainty if he recovers from his bout of influenza. While the two off-spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh are sure to retain their places, it remains to be seen whether the selection committee opts for a left-arm spinner in Axar Patel or a veteran leg-spinner in Amit Mishra. With Karn Sharma sustaining a fracture before Zimbabwe series, it brings 32-year-old Haryana leggie Mishra into the picture.

Indian wicket-keepers

Ever since MS Dhoni's retirement from Test cricket, Wriddhiman Saha is an automatic selection as first-choice wicketkeeper while an additional 16th member might make provision for Naman Ojha or Sanju Samson as the second wicketkeeper.

Who'll be the third specialist spinner

Amit Mishra: He has 43 wickets from 13 Test matches but he has last donned whites for India way back in 2011 against England at the Oval, in which he excelled as a batsman with scores of 43 and 84 while going wicket-less for 170 runs in 38 overs. But his selection in the India A squad for longer format makes it clear that he is there in the mix.

Ravindra Jadeja: The out of favour spinner is unlikely to be considered for the Sri Lankan tour as he was dropped owing to poor form and with no matches in the interim and his non-selection in the India A team for two first-class matches is an indicator that he is not there in the scheme of things.

Pragyan Ojha: The 28-year-old boasts 113 wickets for India in his 24 Tests so far, but he is yet to get into the groove after he remodelled himself following a ban due to suspect action. Ojha's performance will be keenly watched by national selectors as an in-form Ojha is an asset on sub-continental wickets offering substantial turn.

Shreyas Gopal: The 21-year-old Karnataka player, who was recently included in the India A squad, is another leg-spinner in fray for the upcoming tour following his decent performances in the Ranji Trophy. However selectors might just like to have a long hard look at Gopal at the 'A' level before throwing him at the deep end of the pool.

First published: 22 July 2015, 8:30 IST
Rohan Raj @ro4an_raj

After a poor stint in gully-cricket quashed his hopes of turning pro, Rohan moved away from the playing field and began criticising those who were still on it. Football eases his mind and watching City paint Manchester blue is his elusive dream. When not talking, thinking or dreaming about sports, Rohan can be found listening to EDM or watching movies. A sports correspondent at Catch News, he has previously worked with Hindustan Times, Daily Bhaskar and India Today.