After facing a humiliating defeat against England, the Sri Lankan team will host India for a limited-overs series. The series kickstarts on July 18, with the first ODI to take place at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The Indian team last played an ODI series against England in May, where they defeated England 2-1. Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul were the top performers for India with the bat. Shardul Thakur was the pick of the bowlers with seven wickets. India will miss its senior players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah as they are in England, for a five-match test series. In their absence, Shikhar Dhawan will be taking over as the leader of the team. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who is making a comeback after injury, will be Dhawan’s deputy. The series will be an audition for the youngsters as well as the experienced players to book their place in the Indian side for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 17, 2021
Sri Lankan Team will be eager to make a comeback after their lacklustre performance against England. Apart from Wanindu Hasaranga and Dasun Shanaka, the rest of the Sri Lankan players struggled to counter the English conditions. Against India, the Sri Lankan selectors named a fairly inexperienced squad. Former skipper Kusal Perara will miss the whole series due to a shoulder injury, while Binura Fernando will miss the ODI series due to an ankle sprain.
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) July 16, 2021
Predictions for Sri Lanka vs India, First ODI:
The Sri Lankan team will back its in-form players Wanindu Hasaranga and Dasun Shanaka to continue their good run. The rest of the team will also have to pull up their socks against India, as this is a crucial series with the ICC T20 World Cup in sight. For the Indian side, the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will be in focus along with opening batsman Prithvi Shaw. The Sri Lankan team will be wary about the threat that this Indian side poses despite the inexperience. Looking at the strength and the form, India is the hot favorite to win the first ODI at the R. Premadasa Stadium on July 18.