In the 15 times that these two teams have met since the 2011 World Cup finals India have won on 11 occasions with the Lankans being victorious on only 3 occasions while the match played in Adelaide was a tie. The stats clearly favor the men in blue but cricket is played on the field and not on papers and past records. Both these teams have undergone a number of changes lately and are in a transitional phase. Both the teams have won their first game and this match would decide who would sit on top of the table after Friday.
Here we analyze the positives and the negatives of both the teams evident from their first games.
- Virat Kohli: No matter what the stage is, no matter what the conditions are, no matter what the place is, if there is anyone you can depend on top play a match winning innings for India is Virat Kohli.
- Mohammad Shami: This fast bowler has matured a lot in the past 1 year or so. He picks up wicket regularly and also bowls well in the death. His superb bowling in the death overs against Bangladesh proved to be crucial in restricting the Bangladeshi team below 300.
- Ravindra Jadeja: Is there anything on the cricket field that he cannot do. He bowls well, bats well and is probably the best fielder in the Indian team right now. His economy rate while bowling in the batting power play is 4.00, that alone makes him eligible to be in the team.
- Ajinkya Rahane: The Mumbai batsman has finally seemed to have found the way to convert his test performances into one day format. He played a major role in the record third wicket partnership In India’s first match.Negatives
- Openers: both Shikahr Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have not been able to convert the starts they have been getting. The duo has not been able to perform in the way they did last year.
- Ravichandran Ashwin: his main job is to pick up wickets for the team, something that he has not been able to do since the South African tour. He has made changes into his action; we all hope that these changes work in India’s favor against Sri Lanka.
- Third seamer: Varun Aaron failed miserably at this role. This would be one area of worry for Captain Virat Kohli ahead of the Friday tie.
- Kumar Sangakara: The veteran has been in an amazing form since the last year or so. He has scored tons of runs on this Bangladeshi tour and would love to continue with the good form.
- Lahiru Thirimane: Scored a century in the match against Pakistan. He looked very comfortable against pace as well as spin. India would have to be wary of him.
- Lasith Malinga: The Slinga is back in form and would also be keen to improve on his record against the Indians. If this man starts getting them right, there is not much that a batsman can do.
- A winning streak: The Lankans have been on a 6 match winning streak and would love to maintain the momentum in the Asia cup.
- Suranga Lakmal: He still can’t get his length right in the death overs. He gave away 17 crucial runs in the third last over against Pakistan which nearly cost Sri Lanka the match.
- In-experienced spin attack: Sri Lanka has not been able to replace Murli yet. Senanayake is their most experienced spinner and his record against India is not that good either
It promises to be a refreshing contest considering the two teams are meeting after an interval of 7 months!! All we can hope for is an exciting and thrilling contest between the two teams. This is a very important match in context of the points table as the team winning this match will move to the top while the loser will be on the 3rd position. It all depends on the team which plays better cricket on the given day.