Now that India has won the series against Sri Lanka, the dead rubber allows us to try out our bench strength. Here is a probable XI for the last test match:
Rahul will mostly start because he just got back to the Test squad after a lengthy injury lay-off. He will look to end the series on a bang before we go into the ODIs coming up over the next few months.
It will be hard to choose between Mukund and Dhawan and though Dhawan does have the stronger chance of starting, it would not be a bad option to give Mukund another run before the test series wraps up.
Pujara will play as he is the most in-form batsman in Test cricket at the moment and the team would not like to break his flow. He also has a long time to wait before we play our next series, so he will go out on a high.
The captain will lead from the front and look to improve upon his somewhat patchy record in this series. Maybe a century to get that boost before the team heads off into the limited overs games ahead.
Rahane has been in splendid form himself and will mostly see out the last test. He has cemented his place in the squad and will surely be looking to finish it off really well.
Since he made his debut, Pandya has looked good and will maybe get a chance to bat much higher up the order. He will look to sharpen his all-rounder skill and play in his third test match with more aggression or adjust to the situation accordingly.
Ashwin already got his 250th wicket and played his 50th test in this series and he will also be looking to get some more on this pitch. India will turn to him to produce the goods before signing off on the tests.
Since Ravindra Jadeja has been banned for this match, Kuldeep Yadav will get the chance to shine. The Lankans have still not faced the chinaman and it could help to test him out before the series ends.
The wicket-keeper has been good behind the stumps and has gotten himself to half-centuries with the bat as well. Saha will continue to don the gloves throughout the match and will be crucial to India’s success as a keeper.
Since the series has been won already, India just might bring in Ishant for the last test. Ishant is a seasoned bowler who would love the opportunity to head into the middle and pick up wickets.
The management might just rest Shami and Umesh since they bowled their hearts out in the first two tests. Bhuvneshwar, who has been on a high for the past few months will get the nod to play the last test.