India registered yet another comfortable victory over Sri Lanka in the fifth One Day Internationals (ODI) on Sunday as the world champions sealed a series whitewash over their neighbours.
Virat Kohli led India in MS Dhoni's absence, while Wriddhiman Saha was given the role to stand behind the stumps. The series was concluded after winning the third ODI in Hyderabad and the hosts made several changes to their squad for the fourth and the fifth ODI.
Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Saha, Ishant Sharma, M Vijay, Varun Aaron and Mohammed Shami were rested for the last two ODIs. They were replaced by Rohit Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Karn Sharma, Vinay Kumar and Kedar Jadhav.
India made two changes for the final ODI in Ranchi as they replaced all-rounder Suresh Raina with Kedar Jadhav, while Ravichandran Ashwin came in for Umesh Yadav. A very interesting fact with India's playing XI for the final ODI was the first class batting average of their 11 players.
India's team for the final ODI had a first class batting average of above 25. Karn Sharma, the 27-year-old leg-break bowler's first class batting average of 25.88 was the least among India's playing XI for the final ODI. Mumbai Indian skipper and Indian opener Rohit Sharma topped the chart as his first class average is 59.44.
India's first choice players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhoni, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were not a part of the squad for the last two ODIs. Out of these five names, Dhawan, Jadeja and Dhoni already have very good batting averages, while the latter two are the first choice bowlers for India.
The 2015 ICC World Cup is less than three months away and defending champions India will rely heavily on their batting for the upcoming tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
However, the major concern for India would be their bowling attack as it is not as lethal as their batting division. If India's bowlers manage to step up during the World Cup, the reigning champions can be a firm contender to win the 2015 World Cup as it will see them have a very well balanced side.
India's First Class batting average for the 5th ODI against Sri Lanka:
1. Ajinkya Rahane- 57.99
2. Rohit Sharma- 59.44
3. Ambati Rayudu- 46.22
4. Virat Kohli- 47.01
5. Robin Uthappa- 40.70
6. Kedar Jadhav- 50.28
7. Stuart Binny- 35.43
8. Ravichandran Ashwin- 36.85
9. Axar Patel- 44.55
10. Karn Sharma- 25.88
11. Dhawal Kulkarni- 28.37