India and Sri Lanka, two prominent cricketing rivals of the subcontinent are currently facing each other off in a three-match ODI series that is being hosted by the latter. Two matches of the ODI series have already been held, while the third match is scheduled to be held on the 22nd of July, 2021 at R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The match will have no in-person attendance due to the ongoing pandemic, much to the disappointment of the fans. However, fans can catch the action live by tuning the Sony Sports Network and DD National. The match is slated to begin at 3 pm of Indian Standard Time. India has won the first two matches of the series and thus has been leading 2-0. It will be looking to win the final match and whitewash the series. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be looking to save its reputation by winning the final match of the series. Let us have a look at the various details of the match.
The series so far
India has been playing quite well in the series. The Indian team that has been sent for this series is not the regular team but one comprising newcomers and youngsters. From the very first match, they have been playing well both with the bat and the ball. In the first match, spin duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav picked up two wickets each in the first innings, while captain Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav put up stellar batting performances to clinch the match.
In the second match, Sri Lanka, riding on the half-centuries of Avishka Fernando and Charith Asalanka were able to put up a total of 275 on the board. India’s batting order almost collapsed while chasing the target before Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Chahar resurrected it. Chahar hit the winning runs and scored an unbeaten 69. His performance, along with that of Yadav has garnered praise among fans and critics. Chahar was able to stitch a valuable partnership of more than 50 runs with Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the seventh wicket. It was this partnership that changed the game for India. Sri Lanka bowled well. Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga, who is an off-break bowler, picked up three wickets but gave away only 37 runs in the course of his 10 overs.
The Indian team seems to be in great shape. Captain Shikhar Dhawan, who hit an unbeaten 89 in the first game, seems to be in good form, as do youngsters Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, and Deepak Chahar. The bowlers, especially Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also seem to be in good flow. Bhuvneshwar has led the attack well, and Indian bowling has been quite effective in curtailing the Sri Lankan batting line-up from scoring runs. There are less chances for many changes to come through in the squad for the final match, therefore. Vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar has made it clear that neither of the Pandya brothers are facing any injuries at the moment. As things seem now, India is poised to retain the same squad largely.
Sri Lanka on other hand might be mulling changes. Avishkar Fernando has been good with the bat so far, other batsmen need to step up as well. Players like Dhananjaya de Silva, Minod Bhanuka and captain Dasun Shanaka can improve Sri Lanka’s performance a lot. Wanindu Hasaranga has stood out definitely among the players and is set to retain his spot.
Predicted Playing XI
India: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya
Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka (WK), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama/Akila Dananjaya, and Lakshan Sandakan
The last two matches have been held on the same pitch. As per the reports available, this is a batting-friendly pitch. Therefore, bowlers would need to toil more to get their wickets. The temperature is predicted to be around 27 degrees Celsius and there might be some delay because of the rains. The game can be high-scoring and the team winning the toss might opt for chasing. The average score on this pitch since January 20210 has been 262. India and Sri Lanka have faced off in a total of 161 games in which the former has won 93 matches while the latter has won 56 times. 11 matches have been tied and one has yielded no result.
The last game of the series is bound to be exciting and nail-biting. Fans will surely buckle up for a nail-biting contest of good cricket!