July 18 is all set to host the opener of a three-match ODI series between the hosts, Sri Lanka, and the visitors, India. The series holds value as India are looking forward to finding answers for some available positions in India's main squad.
As we know, India have sent a squad full of youngsters with some senior and experienced players who need some polishing.
The likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Hardik Pandya have all been struggling with injuries in the past and thus, this season could be the perfect start for all of them to get through some level of competitive action.
Players performing in this series will be eyeing a return into the core squad which is currently sweating it out in England to play the defending World Champions next month.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) July 16, 2021
The Indians will be led by Shikhar Dhawan, while the hosts will be seeing Dasun Shanaka leading from the front.
As far as their recent record is concerned, India were exquisite against England in their last ODI series, while the Lankans have suffered back-to-back losses. Sri Lanka, who were once a rampant ODI side now stands ninth in the ICC rankings, while India are fourth.
Will this series be a cakewalk for the visitors? Or will the Lankan Lions manage to break the shackles?
Match Toss Time: 14:30 IST (14:30 Local)
Match Start Time: 15:00 IST (15:00 Local)
Match Venue: R. Premadasa Stadium, Sri Lanka
Head to Head
Matches Played: 159, Sri Lanka: 56, India: 91, Tied: 1, N/R: 11
Over 75% humidity is anticipated, with the temperature being around the 29°C mark. The chances are precipitation are thin, while we can expect a cool breeze during any interval.
A pitch that will assist the batsman for the major part of the game. However, spinners can take charge of the middle overs and control the tempo of the game, while the fast bowlers may enjoy bowling more in the second innings of the game.
India have a plethora of quality options to choose from, with talented players in every department. Sri Lanka also have a decent squad but they have been underperforming for quite a while. in the absence of their senior players like Angelo Mathews, Nirsoshan Dickwella, and Kusal Mendis the onus will be skipper Dasun Shanaka and veteran Kusal Perera to perform.
Probable Playing Xl
Sri Lanka (SL): Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama
India (IND): Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw/ Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav
Shikhar Dhawan will have a task in hand and he would be hoping to get back in touch as soon as possible. With the ICC World T20 on the cards, Dhawan would look to bat long and get set for a great series. Suryakumar Yadav also has a golden opportunity to prove himself in the longer formats and become India's solution to their No.4 problem. Hardik Pandya could also bring great value to both departments.
Dasun Shanaka is a must-pick too as he leads his side, an all-rounder to perform in both innings would be anticipated.
Wanindu Hasaranga will be key to Sri Lanka's fortune as well as he possesses what it takes to turn the game on its head. He can be solid with the bat and can be the go-to bowler if the pitch supports.
* Shikhar Dhawan is just 23 runs away from completing 6000 runs in ODI cricket.
* Shikhar Dhawan also has the best batting average among the India batsmen against Sri Lanka (70.2).
* Bhuvneshwar Kumar has the most wickets (17) against Sri Lanka out of the active bowlers who are a part of this series.
(Note: Ravindra Jadeja is the highest wicket-taker against Sri Lanka with 25 wickets but he is not a part of this series)
* As many as 10 players are expected to debut in this tour
SL vs IND Fantasy team
Captain and Vice-captain
Note: The stats mentioned here are Dhawan's ODI stats, while Suryakumar Yadav's domestic stats are mentioned considering he hasn't played ODI cricket.
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