Match Preview – India vs Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka in India 2022/23, 1st ODI

The big picture: India a strong contender

A few years ago, Sri Lanka was really pathetic in the ODI format, but look, now they are a bit better. Or at least that’s what we’re hoping for. In the last year, they have won six out of their 10 completed ODIs. Full disclosure, six of these matches were against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. But then Australia also got a great win in the home series. In general, they are passing as a team on an upward trajectory.

The problem is that India definitely has a monster in its own house. Since the start of 2020, they have won nine of their 12 completed ODIs in the country (and what a strange reality that India have played only 12 ODIs at home in a span of three years, when there used to be a time when they At that time he would have played 12 matches against Sri Lanka alone.)

And let’s not talk about how the teams line up on paper. Because on paper, India beats Sri Lanka every now and then. Thankfully, the on-field rivalry hasn’t been so one-sided, at least in T20Is.

But we are now switching to ODI mode, with the World Cup in India later this year on everyone’s horizon. Sri Lanka have some serious personnel-wanting to do before that. Who will support (currently injured) Dushmantha Chameera as a seam-bowling quick? Is the talented but uncapped (in this format) Dilshan Madushanka the bowler they will be keeping an eye on? How about hit-the-deck seam-trader Kasun Rajitha? Or will they go back to pacer Lahiru Kumara, who hasn’t impressed in 15 ODIs but has shown signs of improvement with the white ball recently?

And can they sort out their spin attack? Wanindu Hasaranga is a world-winning T20 legspinner, but his ODI record pales in comparison. Mahesh Thekshana’s is only marginally better. He is definitely the top pick for Sri Lanka but there is some work to do in this format.

India has little to work for and little to prove. He has a lot of problems. Suryakumar Yadav, who played a flamboyant T20I innings in the last few days, could be dropped from the top-order. If he plays, will have to give way to either Shreyas Iyer, or KL Rahul, both of whom have ODI averages well in the 40s.

On the pace bowling front, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik and Washington Sundar will all be fighting for the same spot. If any of them was a Sri Lankan player, then there was no question of him.

India beat Sri Lanka on paper every time. This has happened often. But Sri Lanka too has its own way of defying its statistics and records.

form guide

(Complete matches, most recent first)
India WLLW
Sri Lanka wllww

In the Spotlight: Another Kohli Masterclass Coming?

Virat KohliThe record against Sri Lanka is very poor. In 46 innings against this opposition, he has 2220 runs – second only to his tally against the West Indies, and only marginally so. He has eight centuries and eleven fifties against him, and a strike rate of 91, despite many of these matches coming on slow Sri Lankan tracks. The Indian may be the bright batting light in the galaxy right now, but few fear Kohli more than the Sri Lankan bowlers. He also scored an ODI century of 113 against Bangladesh in December.

There can be no question now that Sri Lanka’s limited-overs fortunes have changed since then Dasun Shanaka Became the captain. Mostly, the turnaround has come in the T20 format (hello, Asia Cup). But there are some semblances of revival in ODIs as well. The issue for Shanaka is that he has been a poor ODI player so far, averaging less than 25 with the bat, albeit with a healthy strike rate of 94, often coming on towards the late stage of an innings. He is in excellent form at the moment and would like to continue it in the ODIs as well.

pitch and terms

In an ODI played in Guwahati, in 2018, West Indies scored 322 for 8, then India achieved it easily in the 43rd over. The match is not expected to be disrupted due to rain.

Team News: Iyer or SKY in XI?

India has to take some serious decisions. Iyer and Suryakumar appear to be fighting for a spot, with Rohit saying in the pre-match presser that Shubman Gill will overtake Ishan Kishan, despite Kishan scoring a double century in his last ODI. That is, there is a possibility of KL Rahul taking a place in the XI as a wicketkeeper. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav can also clash. Same is the case with Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik.

India XI (Probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (captain), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 KL Rahul (wk), 5 Suryakumar Yadav/Shreyas Iyer, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Akshar Patel, 8 Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Mohammed Siraj, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Arshdeep Singh/Umran Malik

Sri Lanka have some decisions to make on the seam-bowling front, but their top-order and spin attack should be properly organised.

Sri Lanka (Expected)ODIs: 1 Kusal Mendis (wk), 2 Pathum Nissanka, 3 Avishka Fernando, 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Charit Aslanka, 6 Dasun Shanaka, 7 Vanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Mahesh Thikshana, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Dilshan Madushanka/Lahiru Youth

  • Of the 13 completed ODIs since 2015, India have won 10 and Sri Lanka 3. Only three of those matches have taken place in India, however, with India winning two of them.
  • Kohli’s tally of 17 50-plus scores against Sri Lanka is second only to his tally against the West Indies, against whom he scored 18 such scores.
  • While Shanaka has an outstanding T20I record in India, with 378 runs at a strike rate of 149, he has never played an ODI in the country.
  • Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf

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