COLOMBO, March 5: The aim would be to stay on the selectors� radar for next year�s World Cup when India�s second-string team, led by Rohit Sharma, begins yet another Sri Lankan sojourn by taking on the islanders in the opening match of the Tri-Nation Nidahas Twenty20 Cup, here tomorrow.
Having faced Sri Lanka in 18 international matches this season (6Tests, 8 ODIs and 4 T20 Internationals) on home and away basis, another face-off can only add to the players as well as viewers� fatigue due to lack of context.
Bangladesh is the third team in this series and though the sprightly bunch is known to add excitement, the series itself is not exactly an anticipated event after a rather exhausting trip to South Africa.
However, for a bunch of youngsters, who will get to wear the India blues with as many as six top players being rested, would consider this a God-sent opportunity.
At this point of time, the senior national team has only that many specific roles but the enormous supply line means that the queue has only got longer.
Enter the Rishabh Pants, Deepak Hoodas and the Mohammed Sirajs, who otherwise would have been cooling their heels back home and waiting for their respective IPL camps to start.
For all those who are likely to get a game, there will be just one target � to make most of their chances as some of them might not get too many with just about 16 months left for the ICC World Cup.
Even though this is a T20 tournament, a good performance will keep the national selection committee interested for those limited batting slots in the middle-order and perhaps the reserve pacers.
They have mauled Sri Lanka on most of the occasions and stand-in captain Rohit Sharma will have plenty of reasons to remain upbeat about taking the trophy back home.
On a personal front, Rohit will be itching to get back to form after a poor South Africa tour where he managed only a single hundred in the one-dayers.
In the familiar territory of Premadasa Stadium, Rohit will love to come out all guns blazing in the company of Shikhar Dhawan.
Suresh Raina is slowly getting back into the groove at No. 3. The Lankan pitches and the pace trio of Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera and Dasun Shanaka are not expected to pose too many problems to the stylish left-hander, who was out of the side for a year owing to fitness and form-related issues.
The extremely talented KL Rahul may have to miss out if he is not allowed to open by the team management. With Raina back in the team, Rahul can only bat at No. 4, where Manish Pandey has been staking claim for quite some time now. � PTI
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj and Rishabh Pant (wk).
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Suranga Lakmal (vc), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya De Silva.
Mahmudullah (C), Liton Das, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Abu Jayed, Taskin Ahmed, Imrul Kayes, Nurul Hasan, Mehidy Hasan, Ariful Haque, Nazmul Islam, Abu Hider Rony.
India vs Sri Lanka Match starts at 7 pm IST.