Sri Lanka vs India, 1st ODI: Match Preview

Sri Lanka vs India, 1st ODI

The inaugural match of the India tour of Sri Lanka 2021 will be marked by the 1st ODI on Sunday. The men-in-blue take on the Sri Lankan cricket team, this time away from their own home. The match begins at 3 pm IST and will be hosted in R Premadasa International Stadium in Colombo. Both teams will clash against each other for the first time since 2017.

Match Preview 

R Premadasa International Stadium will be host to the 3-match ODI series in this tour as well as the 3 T20s that follow. The ground is ideal for any side with a strong batting lineup. An average first inning score of 300 makes it batting paradise for the teams. Winning the toss will play a big factor here as the teams coming up to chase a hefty total are seldom helped by the pitch conditions. Reportedly a flat track to play on in the second half of the game.

The vantage points for the pacers might be less as the pitch does not generate or help generate a lot of speed. Rather it slows the ball down. This proves to be advantageous for the team defending their total and detrimental for the team chasing it. The weather conditions are quite favorable for playing but chances of precipitation remain, however. All of this will be accompanied by 77% humidity, which will make it increasingly difficult for the players.

Sri Lanka Team News

The Sri Lankan team will need to pull itself together and buckle up after back-to-back ODI upsets. Sri Lanka has found itself on the losing end of the rope in their previous two ODI series, one against England and another against Bangladesh. The Lions had to return home from Bangladesh and England without making a significant mark. 

This time the home advantage might play a big part in bolstering their confidence. It is understood that Sri Lanka will not sit back and accept defeat in their premises without giving India a tough fight.

Sri Lanka has announced a fresh 24-member squad for the series after the Covid-19 outbreak in the Sri Lankan camp. Things worsened for the Sri Lankan team as Kusal Perera was stripped of the captaincy and Dasun Shanaka was made the leader of the pack. As it stands, Perera has been ruled out of the squad due to a sprain on his right shoulder.

Predicted Eleven– Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c); Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne; Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama

India Team News

The Indian cricket team that has traveled to Sri Lanka will have everyone’s eyes on them. The second string of players that have been sent to Sri Lanka in absence of the first team will have players like Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, and Hardik Pandya to fall back on. The former Indian captain and u-19 coach Rahul Dravid has been given the responsibility to lead this team in absence of Ravi Shashtri. The shoes of captain Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are being filled by Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar respectively. 

Young players like Sanju Samson, Devdutt Paddikal, Chetan Sakariya have been called up for the tour. A total of 6 players have earned their maiden call-ups and will be utilized judiciously.

It is expected that under proper guidance the blue army will be able to give Sri Lanka a hard time throughout the series. A team this young has high chances of succumbing to the much experienced Sri Lankans; but most of them have had a good run of form in both IPL and domestic cricket. 

Predicted Eleven– Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw, Sanju Samson (wk); Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal; Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.

Statistics

India leads the battle by a huge margin when it comes head-to-head with Sri Lanka. Out of the 159 ODI series played between both parties; India has emerged victorious in 91 of them and Sri Lanka has only managed 56. Eleven matches have ended up bearing no results with one draw.

It is very well understood that the longstanding feud between the two neighbors has always materialized into a gripping match. A sense of healthy competition has always prevailed between them and has always got the better of the rivalry between them.

Conclusion

India fielding its young guns while the stalwarts are away in England and Sri Lanka hoping to find an end to its cricketing turmoils will make it a riveting match to watch. One of them might win a few battles on the ground and get ahead but it’s important who wins the war.