Mumbai:With quite a few players staking their claim with consistent displays in the Ranji Trophy, the national selectors may opt to make a few changes in the Indian ODI squad for the series against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
The last ODI that India played was on November 26 at Guwahati against England after which the international cricket calendar involving the team went for a toss in the wake of the Mumbai terror attack that happened the same night.
Quite a few Indian players from the team that featured in the fifth ODI, which also brought down curtains on the series, face the axe following splendid displays by others in the national championship coupled with their own indifferent form.
On top of the list of players who could make way for some new faces are the Pathan brothers from Baroda, Irfan and Yousuf and Hyderabad left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha.
Staking strong claims to make it to the Emerald Island for the best-of-five ODI series and a one-off Twenty20 International are two players from eventual national champions Mumbai, one-down batsman Ajinkya Rahane and medium-pace swing bowler Dhawal Kulkarni.
Rahane amassed over a thousand runs from 10 matches with a fine average of 68 to boot, while Kulkarni emerged the top wicket taker with 42 scalps from nine ties, conceding just under 20 per victim and with four five wickets in-an-innings hauls under his belt.
Both these players have already been part of the India 'A' squad.
Pressing hard for a look-in from Saurashtra, who lost to Mumbai in the semi-finals, are left handed all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and prolific middle order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara.
Jadeja, who bats in the lower middle order and bowls left-arm spin, accumulated 739 runs in nine ties at an average of 67.18, besides claiming 42 wickets, the same as Kulkarni, at 19.72 per scalp.
He also grabbed four hauls of five or more wickets in an innings, figures that cannot be brushed aside easily by the selection committee headed by Krishnamachari Srikkanth as they continue their search for a stable and effective all rounder.
Pujara, with over 900 runs with a best of 302 and an average of 82.36 is another in-form player from the state.
But with Tamil Nadu's S Badrinath already placed in the Rs 40-lakh bracket in the Board's central contracts and the One-day middle order packed with others such as Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and strong contender Rahane, it remains to be seen whether he gets in.