After a 2-1 T20I series win against Sri Lanka, India are all set to turn their focus towards ODIs against the Dasun Shanaka-led side, with the series kickstarting from ACA Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday. With the series all set to mark the start of a crucial year as the ODI World Cup will be held in India in October-November, the hosts’ have been hit hard by a late pull-out of pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah as a precautionary measure, thus extending his delay into playing competitive cricket since suffering a reoccurrence of back injury in September 2022, which also saw him miss Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.
Rohit returns from injury
At the same time, there is some cheer for India as captain Rohit Sharma is back to lead the side since he sustained a left thumb injury during the ODI series in Bangladesh in December 2022. Alongside him, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and K.L. Rahul are expected to slot back into the playing eleven in Guwahati after not being a part of the T20I series against Sri Lanka.
With Rohit set to open and Kohli at number three, India need to see how they fit in Iyer, Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan. Kishan played a sensational career-best 210 against Bangladesh in Chattogram, while Gill showed he can be a solid opening option through his performances in the format in 2022.
Iyer, on the other hand, was the key figure in India’s middle order for ODIs in 2022. Moreover, the maverick Suryakumar Yadav is there in the squad too, itching to carry his T20I form into ODIs and get a spot in the Indian scheme of things for the ODI World Cup.
With the ball, veteran quick Mohammed Shami’s return will be good for India and can pair up with Mohammed Siraj, and either Arshdeep Singh or Umran Malik. It remains to be seen how India use up Hardik Pandya’s overs in the format apart from seeing how Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal fare in the spin department.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, will be banking on skipper and seam-bowling all-rounder Dasun Shanaka to lead by example after doing the same in the T20I series. They would wish for young opener Pathum Nissanka to give a solid start with Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka and Kusal Mendis chipping in.
Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana will take care of the spin bowling department with leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay coming in too. In the fast-bowling unit, they have options in Dilshan Madushanka’s left-arm fast-bowling apart from pacers in Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha and Pramod Madushan.
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, K.L Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh.
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wicketkeeper), Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (captain), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dilshan Madushanka, Lahiru Kumara, Ashen Bandara, Nuwanidu Fernando, Pramod Madushan, Dunith Wellalage, Kasun Rajitha, Jeffrey Vandersay, Sadeera Samarawickrama