About the Match
India will host Sri Lanka in a 5-match ODI series, the first of which will take place on 2nd Nov at Cuttack; India has recently won the series against West Indies, which struggled with its internal player problems, and the players are pretty confident at the moment to continue with their winning momentum. Sri Lanka on the other hand hasn’t had much time to prepare for the series as most of the players were on a break from international cricket after a hectic schedule throughout the year. Both teams will look to grab this opportunity and strengthen their capabilities in preparation for the World Cup round the corner.
Kohli will lead the team from the front and his return to form as seen in the matches against West Indies is a good sign for them; Rahane, Dhawan and Raina are looking solid too and will be crucial assets in the batting line-up. The bowling squad looks sharp with players like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kulkarni and Umesh Yadav although the services of Mohammad Shami, who was excelling with his wicket-taking abilities in recent contests, will be missed in the upcoming series against Sri Lanka. Jadeja, Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Akshar Patel and Raina are good all-rounders and will provide depth to the bowling variations against the visitors; they just need to be focused and overcome their weaknesses to gel as a strong unit and execute their strategies to perfection.
Called for a surprise series against India, the Sri Lankan players will need to dive right into the one-day format of the game with most players caught unawares; they will have to rise up to the expectations and deliver for the cause of the team. It is a good opportunity for the younger players to showcase their abilities in the run-up to the team selection for the mega event next year; players like Suraj Randiv, Lahiru Gamage, Chaturanga de Silva and Seekkuge Prasanna who have been very promising, will be eager to gain a lot of exposure here. With senior bowlers like Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis not being a part of the squad, the responsibility falls on the young shoulders. Even the batting line-up will test the skills of players like Upul Tharanga, who has been a strong pillar for the team in recent games, Kusal Perera and other all-rounders. Overall, the team has the capability to do well and give a tough challenge to the Indian contingent provided they can use the resources at hand with a good strategy in place.
Team India has had many ups and downs in recent series but they need to be cautious against the islanders, who although had very less time to prepare and are missing some of the key players, can be a tough team to beat. While the contest will surely go down to the wire and test the capabilities of the strongest of players from both sides, we feel that India has a better team composition and the home advantage to emerge victorious in the opening match on Sunday.
India, 1.61 @ Bet365