India vs Sri Lanka: Preview

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Photo Credit: [Michael Steele]/Getty Images

The 2017 Champions Trophy has already reached round two in its group fixtures and in a Group B encounter, two Asian heavyweights India and Sri Lanka go head-to-head. We preview this clash.

What happened in their last match?

Sri Lanka opened their Champions Trophy campaign with a 96-run defeat to South Africa. Having restricted South Africa to 299/6 which once looked to be going over 320 and being 94/2 in 11.5 overs in their innings, the Sri Lankan batting line-up folded rather easily as they were eventually bowled out for 203. Other than stand in captain Upul Tharanga, Niroshan Dickwella and Kusal Perera, no batsman could cross 20.

India opened their campaign in convincing fashion beating arch-rivals Pakistan by 124 runs after a professional all round performance. All of India’s top four batsmen made fifties taking India to 318 in 48 overs. The bowling was efficient as well and all the bowlers chipped in with wickets to dismiss Pakistan for 164, chasing 289 in 41 overs.

Matchups to look out for:

1. Virat Kohli vs Lasith Malinga 

The two main men of both sides will clash once again and it will be a key battle in determining the result of the match. It is widely regarded that Virat Kohli is one of the very few batsmen in the world who can dominate Malinga. And with Malinga being the senior player and the leader of the bowling attack, he would look to prize out the wicket of the Indian captain if Sri Lanka are to beat the tournament holders.

2. Kusal Mendis vs Jasprit Bumrah 

A clash of youngsters is always interesting to see. Mendis, who has become a regular in all formats for Sri Lanka will face Jasprit Bumrah, India’s new limited overs specialist. With Sri Lanka looking to improve on their batting performance from the last match, Mendis would be eager to make a telling contribution and Bumrah going wicketless in the last match, both players will be looking to come out all guns blazing.

 

3. Niroshan Dickwella vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar 

One interesting matchup to look ahead to should be that of the opening characters. Niroshan Dickwella, one of Sri Lanka’s most attacking players will face Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India’s powerplay and death overs specialist. Dickwella has been caught wanting against the swinging ball before and with Kumar relying on a nagging line and length and looking to swing the ball in the initial overs, this could well be a key battle.

Head-to-head 

In 149 ODI’s, India have won 83 and Sri Lanka have won 54. The last time these two sides met in ODI Cricket, India whitewashed Sri Lanka 5-0 in 2014. In neutral venues, India lead the head-to-head 26-16.

Team News

India would like to go in this game with the sane line-up like the last match and are known to stick with the same side in big tournaments, provided they keep winning. The wicket to be used would certainly impact the combinations. India might go in with the extra spinner by sacrificing a seamer but that looks highly unlikely.

Likely XI:

  1. Rohit Sharma
  2. Shikhar Dhawan
  3. Virat Kohli (c)
  4. Yuvraj Singh
  5. MS Dhoni (wk)
  6. Kedar Jadhav
  7. Hardik Pandya
  8. Ravindra Jadeja
  9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
  10. Umesh Yadav
  11. Jasprit Bumrah

 

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be boosted by the return of skipper Angelo Mathews to full fitness after he confirmed that he is ready to play as a batsman against India. The good news, though, ends there as Upul Tharanga was suspended for two matches after a slow over rate against South Africa. Expect changes to the all round options after their weak show against South Africa. Kusal Perera could move up to open the batting.

Likely XI:

  1. Niroshan Dickwella (wk)
  2. Kusal Perera
  3. Kusal Mendis
  4. Dinesh Chandimal
  5. Angelo Mathews (c)
  6. Chamara Kapugedara
  7. Asela Gunaratne
  8. Thisara Perera
  9. Suranga Lakmal
  10. Lasith Malinga
  11. Nuwan Pradeep

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