The ongoing series between India and Sri Lanka has been an improved series from what all the fans witnessed the last time these two teams met in the island nation. The two teams last met when India toured Sri Lanka and completely decimated the Sri Lanka team at their home and whitewashed the hosts in all the three formats, leading to a 9-0 victory throughout the tour.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case in the current series as the touring team has managed to draw two out of the three Tests. The first Test was affected by rain and the Lankans made use of the conditions and managed to play out a draw. This wasn’t the case in the second Test as the Indians were ruthless in their approach and pulled off a convincing victory in Nagpur. In the third Test, the Lankans fought back and batted out of their skins to play out a draw.
The series is not over yet, and the two teams now play in a three-match ODI series with the first match to be played on 10th December on Sunday in Dharamsala. The Sri Lankans have roped in their ODI specialists for the series and have flown nine players from Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka will be led by all-rounder Thisara Perera as Dinesh Chandimal has been dropped and has flown back home. The Sri Lankan team will also be strengthened by the addition ODI specialists Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Perera. Gunathilaka’s innings in the Champions Trophy against India was instrumental for the Islanders. Niroshan Dickwella looked in fine touch in the Test series and had given the Lankans some quick runs.
India on the other hand, has been lethal in the limited overs format at home, and no team has been able to dominate the Indians. The Indian team has been on a fantastic run on home soil and has not lost a series since they last lost the ODI series to South Africa in 2015. The Indian team is currently ranked number one in the Test format and are at the second spot with South Africa in the ODI format.
The last time these two teams met in a bilateral ODI series was in August in Sri Lanka where the Indians won 5-0 and whitewashed the hosts. The situations this time around looks the same as the momentum is still with the Indian team. The hosts are without the services of their captain Virat Kohli who has been rested before the long away tours begin early next year. Rohit Sharma will lead the side in his absence.
Prediction for the first ODI-
India goes into the match as favourites and is most likely to win the first ODI as they have the better team on paper and field. The recent history of the two teams also shows the same pattern as the hosts lead the Lankans 9-1 in the last 10 ODI’s the two teams have played against each other.