Hooda was first picked in the Indian squad for the three-match bilateral T20 series versus Sri Lanka held last December at home, but did not get a game. The Nidhas Trophy has been arranged to celebrate the 70th year of the independence of Sri Lanka.
Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal are the two spin bowling options at the floodlit Premadasa, where the wicket gets slower as the night progresses.
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out of the upcoming tri-nation Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka as he is still nursing a finger injury, Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Saturday (3).
To many, the Nidahas Trophy will be ideal preparation for IPL 2018, which will start on April 7.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan (vice-capt), 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, Rishabh Pant (wk).
As a result, Mahmudullah will take over as captain, while wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das has called up to replace him.
It will be interesting to see as to which player the Indian team will identify as the batsman who can be the game changer in the series and can play the role of a finisher.
Even though India are without several big-ticket names, they will fancy their chances under Rohit Sharma. The sweep ended a Sri Lanka slump which saw them win just 14 of 57 matches in 2017. After that brilliant 79 not out recently in the second T20 in South Africa, he failed in the very next game, which is understandable but he had done the same earlier in his career too. Apart from the duo, the other limited-overs' regulars like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and all-rounder Hardik Pandya will also miss the tri-series. Under Dinesh Chandimal, they look a more cohesive and settled unit, no doubt benefitting from the expertise of Chandika Hathurusingha, their new coach. It is a great chance for the team from the island nation to turn the tables on the Men in Blue as they have rested some of their best players for the tournament. Kusal Mendis has played beautifully at the top of the order and he will open the innings once again with Danushka Gunathilaka.