After being white washed in the recently concluded test series, Sri Lanka will take on Virat Kohli’s men in the 50 over format on Sunday 20th August 2017 at Dambulla.
The hosts will look to bounce back after losing the test series 3-0; on the other hand Team India will want to continue their dominance over the Sri Lankans in this ODI format too.
But for Sri Lanka it won’t be easy, their performance in the test series has let them down completely. For them it will be important to see how their new captain will stand in this crunch situation.
Upul Tharanga is all set to make his ODI captaincy debut on Sunday. Tharanga has been replaced by Angelo Mathews in the limited overs edition. Mathews had resigned from captaincy after a shameful loss against Zimbabwe.
It won’t be easy for India too; Virat and his men can’t afford to take the Lankans lightly despite of their woeful form. India should remember that this Sri Lankan side has beaten them in ICC Champions Trophy held in England. India lost the match despite of Shikhar Dhawan’s wonderful 128 run knock.
The Lankans gave a shock to everyone by chasing down the mammoth target of 322 runs in 50 overs. India’s bowling looked very weak in that match. Their bowlers leak runs and couldn’t defend the target. That’s why they lost the match.
Sri Lanka can repeat this magic again, they have the batsmen who could chase down the target like they did in England and their bowling attack will add more depth and variety when their star limited overs specialist bowler returns to the squad.
Lasith Malinga will be the player to watch out for in this ODI series. This veteran has tons of experience in him. His abilities now will be questioned because Malinga hasn’t been like his hey days. His form with the ball has been patchy but like all class and champion players Malinga will be back with a bang.
Sri Lanka will need services of Malinga to counter the huge batting line up of the Indian team.
The other good news for the Sri Lankan fans is that Angelo Mathews might bowl in this series. Sri Lanka will use his all rounder services to bring the momentum back in their favour.
Meanwhile, the returns of MS Dhoni, Kedar Jhadav, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel have strengthened the ODI squad.
India’s current ODI squad is a mix of experience and youth. Even though important players like Ashwin, Jadeja, Yuvraj and Rahane are missing in this list, still this squad looks stronger.
This will be the last tour of Sri Lanka for India’s veteran wicket keeper batsman MS Dhoni. This too might be the last ODI series for MSD if he doesn’t deliver. According to BCCI chairman of selector MSK Prasad, if Dhoni doesn’t perform then the team will look for other alternatives.
There might be a possibility of his replacement for 2019 world cup. As his partner Yuvraj Singh was dropped from the squad, MS Dhoni too is in line of getting out of the ODI team.
MS Dhoni should be aware of this fact and perform like his olden days. His presence in the middle order gives India strength and makes the batting line up stronger. His presence is also important for India to guide the youngsters of the team. Dhoni is the player to watch out for in this ODI series.
Virat Kohli, the man who made his ODI debut at the same stadium on 18 August 2008 is all set to captain his ODI team for the first time in Sri Lanka. Kohli might hope that everything goes go well for him and his team.
All eyes will be on the only player who scored 2 double hundreds in ODIs. Rohit Sharma is also under the spot light. Rohit is the new vice captain of India in ODIs. It will be interesting to see how he plays on Sunday.
India’s likely squad for the 1st ODI at Dambulla –
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli (C), MS Dhoni, Kedar Jhadav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka’s likely squad for the 1st ODI at Dambulla – Puahpakumara and Vishwa Fernando will make their ODI debut on Sunday.
Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga (c), Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilruwan Perera, Vishwa Fernando, Malinda Pushpakumara and Lasith Malinga.
This should be an evenly matched contest. The match will start on 14-30 IST and 09-00 GMT. The live telecast of this match will be on Sony Pix Networks.