Why are Ish Sodhi and Kasun Rajitha not playing in ICC World Cup 2023, match 41 between New Zealand and Sri Lanka?

New Zealand and Sri Lanka lock horns in an important encounter in the ODI World Cup 2023 on Thursday, November 9 in Bengaluru.

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Ish Sodhi and Kasun Rajitha
Ish Sodhi and Kasun Rajitha (Photo Source: Twitter)

New Zealand and Sri Lanka will be looking forward to winning their ODI World Cup clash on Thursday, November 9 in Bengaluru for different reasons. While a win will take the Kiwis to the brink of semi-final qualification, the 'Lankan Lions' will look to emerge victorious to assure themselves a top-eight finish and book their place in the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy.

Therefore, the 41st match in the ongoing ODI World Cup holds a lot of significance. The two teams made one change each to their respective playing XIs. Lockie Ferguson returned to the side after recovering from a right Achilles niggle and he replaced spinner Ish Sodhi. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, bolstered their batting resources by bringing in all-rounder Chamika Karunaratne in place of pacer Kasun Rajitha.

The Blackcaps are coming into this game on the back of four consecutive losses. They lost their most recent game against Pakistan by 21 runs (DLS method). The batting unit has looked in sublime touch for New Zealand but the bowlers have not been able to hit their straps. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka have lost three games in a row prior to this encounter, and their heartbreaking defeat against Bangladesh in their last match made the headlines for Angelo Mathews' controversial timed-out dismissal.

What did the captains say at the toss?

Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bowl first. He said that the rain forecast was taken into consideration while making the decision. The talismanic batter wanted his bowlers to make good use of the new ball. Kusal Mendis said that he would have also bowled first had he won the toss. He also emphasized the need to do the basics right.

Kane Williamson: We will have a bowl first. A little bit of weather around. A little bit of unknowns. By and large, we have won a few and lost a few. Been there and thereabouts. Some close ones that could have gone either way. Here we are here today, would want to address the issue in front of us. Lockie comes in for Ish Sodhi. Adjust to what is in front of us. Make use of the ball first up.

Kusal Mendis: I was looking to bowl. But unfortunately, we are batting first. Very important game today. If we do the basics well, we should do well. NZ is a calm team. We played here against and played well. One change for us. Rajitha is not playing but Chamika is playing.

New Zealand (Playing XI): Devon Conway, Rachin Ravindra, Kane Williamson (C), Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tom Latham (WK), Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult

Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis (WK/C), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilshan Madushanka

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