Save for their win over England, Sri Lanka’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign has been slightly underwhelming, but they have a chance to prove their mettle against a dominant Indian side on Saturday, 6 July.
Sri Lanka v India
2019 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup, Match 43
Saturday, 06 July; 10.30am local time; 09.30am GMT
The last time these sides faced off in England, during the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Sri Lanka defied the odds to chase down India’s 321/6 with seven wickets to spare. As they set to return home, Sri Lanka would love to repeat the feat against a side that has already secured a semi-final spot.
Sri Lanka’s batting has been an area of concern. While they’ve made marked improvement after their tournament opener against New Zealand, where they were bundled out for 135, the top-order still seems frail. That is exactly what India’s well-rounded bowling attack will look to exploit.
Heading into the semis, where they could face either of England or New Zealand – two very strong sides – India would like to get another win under their belt. They might also utilise the opportunity to test some different combinations. Ravindra Jadeja and Mayank Agarwal are the only two members, who haven’t played a game yet, and might get a look-in.
Avishka Fernando (Sri Lanka): The 21-year-old has made a mark in just three World Cup matches so far, including a match-winning century against West Indies in the previous game. His effortless strokeplay might prove essential to counter India’s brilliant bowling attack.
Rishabh Pant (India): Pant, also aged 21, who was called up to the squad mid-way after injury to Shikhar Dhawan, has been occupying the vital No.4 spot in the last two outings. He has made scores of 32 and 48, but will be on the lookout for a bigger innings. His ability to switch gears and hit big really adds an edge to an already dynamic Indian batting line-up.
It’s expected to be warm and sunny for the most part. The pitch should be good for batting, but is likely to slow down as the match progresses.
Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Mendis (wk), Kusal Perera (wk), Thisara Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Milinda Siriwardana, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Kasun Ranjitha
India: Virat Kohli (c), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, M S Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, K L Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Mayank Agarwal, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav
Source: Cricket World Cup