Sri Lanka and India are facing each other in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. For the first time in the ODI leg, Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and elected to bat first.

Since the ODI series is already in India’s bag with an unassailable 2-0 lead, the management decided to field as many as five debutants in the game. The Rahul Dravid-coached side handed debut caps to players like Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Krishnappa Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Samson has already played 7 T20Is for Team India as he replaced Ishan Kishan in the match. Similarly, Gowtham being a spinning all-rounder, came in place of Krunal Pandya.

Sakariya replaced Deepak Chahar while Rahul and Rana have been brought in for the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Apart from the five debutants, India has also included Navdeep Saini in the playing XI.

With five players making their maiden appearances in an ODI game, the ‘Men in Blue’ have equalled their own record of having the most number of debuts in a single match. The last occasion of such occurrence was in 1980 when India was on Australia’s tour. At MCG, India had fielded Dilip Doshi, Kirti Azad, Roger Binny, Sandeep Patil and Tirumalai Srinivasan as debutants.

Most debuts in an ODI for India:

  • 5 – Australia vs India at Melbourne (1980)
  • 5 – Sri Lanka vs India at Colombo (2021)

Here is India’s playing XI:

Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan(c), Sanju Samson(w), Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, Rahul Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya.

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