New Delhi: India won the T20I series 2-1 under Hardik Pandya, but the scheme of things is a lot different in ODIs as both teams are gearing up for the upcoming World Cup. Rohit Sharma is back as the captain, while the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Mohammad Shami also mark their return. Dasun Shanaka and his men have shown a fighting spirit and have proved that the games won’t be easy for the hosts.
While India is missing the services of Jasprit Bumrah due to stiffness in the back, Sri Lanka misses Dushmantha Chameera due to injury. Both teams have a lot of decisions to take before the ICC tournament.
India has a problem of plenty
Virat Kohli is back in form and KL Rahul is fit as a wicketkeeper batter on number 5, India has a strong bench strength and fights for different spots. While Ishan Kishan proved with a double ton, Shubman Gill is likely to seal the place as an opener with Rohit, due to his consistency. On the other hand, extremely consistent and versatile players Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav are likely to battle it out for the number 4 spot.
Among the bowlers, Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj are automatic picks and Arshdeep Singh is likely to be picked ahead of Umran Malik, who picked seven wickets in the T20I series. Yuzvendra Chahal or Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel or Washington Sundar are also among other decisions while Ravindra Jadeja is yet to make a return.
Important for Sri Lanka to perform before World Cup
The 2023 World Cup is to be hosted by India and this makes it more important for the visitors to perform well in the series. The batting order looks much more stable with Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka opening and Shanaka leading the lower-middle order. This will also mark Shanaka’s first-ever ODI in India and is important for him to understand the conditions before the big tournament.
The bowling line-up is likely to be similar to the T20s. Sri Lanka has Lahiru Kumara’s form as a big concern, while impressive Dilshan Madushanka can take his place.
India might be trying a few combinations but the first game is likely to go in the favour of the hosts. If Shanaka is able to repeat his T20 heroics, it would be a big boost for his side before the World Cup.