Mumbai: Fringe players will have a chance to prove their mettle when the Manoj Tiwary-led India A take on Sri Lanka in the only one-day warm up match, which will mark the beginning of the hastily scheduled ODI series, here on Thursday.
The tour game, at the Cricket Club of India's Brabourne Stadium, also provides Rohit Sharma, recovering from a fractured finger and shoulder injury, a chance to prove his fitness and get back into the side for the last two games of the best-of-five ODI series against the visitors.
In the opening slot, Mahrashtra's Kedar Jadhav, a hard-hitting middle-order batsman, can show himself as a good back-up option with the World Cup only a few months away.
Delhi's Unmukt Chand would also be itching to show his worth after having scored an unbeaten 79 and 101 against West Indies in the two warm-up matches played earlier this month.
Among all-rounders, Karnataka's Stuart Binny and Jammu and Kashmir's Parveez Rasool will strive to again get a look in the limited-over side. With Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni in need of a bowling all-rounder, the selectors under Sandeep Patil's chairmanship, will be keenly following the duo's performance.
The match is also a good platform for youngsters -- Karnataka's Manish Pandey and UP's 'Chinaman' bowler Kuldeep Yadav who earned the maiden call-up against the West Indies in the T20 and ODIs -- to showcase their talent and force their way into national squad. For Mumbai pacer Dhawal Kulkarni, included in the Indian ODI team in place of injured Mohamad Shami, it is a god-sent opportunity to make an impression with the new ball as well as the old and prove he is a good 'death' bowler.
The visitors, too, have a few things to look forward to in their lone warm-up game before the start of the five-match ODI series against hosts and World Cup champions India on November 2 at Cuttack.
The Angelo Mathews-led Lanka would be eager to make the most of the game after being asked to step in for a series against India in place of the West Indies who pulled out of their tour midway over a pay dispute with their Board. The islanders would be eager to quickly get into their groove with a good display in the one-off warm-up match.
The island nation hasn't had enough time to prepare for the series after being asked to play at short notice and are missing some key players, including sling-arm fast bowler Lasith Malinga who is used to the conditions in Mumbai being part of the IPL team Mumbai Indians. In the absence of some of the regular players who are recovering from injuries, this series would help the emerald nation to test its bench strength ahead of the World Cup next year.
The Mumbai fans would also have a last look at top batsmen Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene who are not expected to be around as active players after the February-March, 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. This is the only game of the visitors scheduled in this metropolis.
Squads (from): Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (Capt.), Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Ashan Priyanjan, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Lahiru Gamage, Chaturanga de Silva, Seekuge Prasanna, Suraj Randiv.
India A: Manoj Tiwary (Capt), Unmukt Chand, Manan Vohra, Karun Nair, Rohit Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Sanju Samson, Parvez Rasool, Karn Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhaval Kulkarni, Jaspreet Bumrah, Manish Pandey and Kuldeep Yadav.