About the Match
Defending champions India began their title defence of the Champions Trophy in spectacular fashion by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan. Sri Lankans did not have such a great start to their campaign however, as they lost to South Africa in a comprehensive manner. These two teams will now take on each other in the 8th match of the tournament at The Oval on 8th June. Sri Lanka would be looking to get a win in this game and get themselves up on the points table. India on the other hand would be looking to seal their semi-final berth with a win in this contest.
India entered this edition of the ICC Champions Trophy as the defending champion and surely played like a champion side in their first game of the tournament against Pakistan. India batted superbly, with all of their top four scoring fifties, and then bowled with lots of venom and discipline to kill the Pakistan chase even before it could get started.
The last Champions Trophy, which India went on to win, was also held in England and so India should be fairly comfortable with the conditions. Indian batsmen will not mind the flat tracks that have been on display in recent times in England and India has surely got a good enough pace attack to utilize any swing and bounce available.
India has chosen a pretty experienced squad for this tournament and the recent ODI form of almost all their batsmen has been good. Though Captain Virat Kohli did not have a good IPL, but he batted well against Pakistan and this bolsters Indian batting even further. The bowlers all look in good rhythm and the way they dismissed Pakistan cheaply, augurs well for the rest of the tournament.
India is the defending champion and one of the better ODI teams around, and going by the recent ODI form, they should be able to overcome this Sri Lankan side hindered by injuries, bans and an overall lack of big match experience.
Sri Lanka is undergoing a cruel rebuilding phase at the moment. Their recent ODI record has not been very good either, and the way they lost their opening game of the ICC Champions Trophy to South Africa amplifies their struggles rather harshly.
None of the Sri Lankan bowlers were able to exert any sort of control over the South African batsmen, and then during the chase their batsmen could not get going either. Upul Tharanga, the stand-in captain for the game against South Africa, and also the top scorer for Sri Lanka, will now not be available for this game as he is serving a ban for slow over rate.
With such patchy form and the distraction of such unwanted off-field issues, defeating India in the bouncy English conditions looks a little farfetched for Sri Lanka, though anything is possible on any given day and Sri Lanka might as well surprise everyone.
Lasith Malinga has been included in the squad for this tournament but could not do too well against South Africa; however he would be hoping to have a bigger impact in this game. The batting unit will be looking forward to the return of captain Angelo Mathews, who missed the first game due to injury, and how quickly he is able to come back into form can in turn decide how far Sri Lanka can take India in this game.
Sri Lanka has always done well in the ICC tournaments, but the odds of them beating India in this game have to be estimated at pretty low given their recent form. They can surely spring a surprise, but the chances seem highly unlikely.
Both India and Sri Lanka have had a good overall record in ICC events. However, Sri Lanka is suffering from an uncomfortable rebuilding phase and some off-field issues, and on the other hand, India appears to be a well settled and highly professional outfit. India has had a better recent record in ODI cricket as well and all these factors give them an upper hand in this contest.