When and Where to Watch Sri Lanka vs India Live Streaming, Match Preview, Timings, and Pitch Report for 1st ODI
Thanks to India’s incredible depth, they will have some selection issues even while drawing a team from a second-string squad of sorts.
Updated - Jul 17, 2021 3:23 pm
If there is one way to describe what the last decade has been for Sri Lanka, it is the decade of decline. Around this time 10 years ago, it had been only a touch over three months of them ending up as runners-up of the ODI World Cup 2011. Sri Lanka was a team that knew how to win; how to compete and fight – all that now seems alien in their cricketing system.
They make headlines for cricketing reasons no more. They have dwindled to extents defining which in words is hard and painful and even impossible, perhaps. Cricket, of late, has topped their list of priorities from the bottom as they continue making news off the field.
Much of all that must also be attributed to the board, with which the entire Sri Lankan team has been at loggerheads for months now, owing to the unfair and non-transparent nature of the Annual Players’ Contract. The team’s leadership group and captains have changed at a rate quicker than “boys change their display pictures”, with Dasun Shanaka now set to lead them, taking over from Kusal Perera, who himself assumed the role in May this year.
Sri Lanka has failed to produce players that grab attention by performance. Three of them – Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, and Niroshan Dickwella – who had some potential, some experience that could have helped the team put up a better fight come this series, are absent, and instead, find themselves in the midst of a probe for a bio-bubble breach in England; one so stark it forces one to think if the three men are truly international cricketers.
Given all this, and a lot more, that just somehow keeps on going around Sri Lanka, it is no surprise that they come against India as overwhelming non-favourites. Even if it is a home series. Even if the India they face is sans Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah. In short, the whole of India’s UK contingent, that is busy preparing for a different format in different conditions in a different part of the world.
Meanwhile, even before the start of this series, there have been plenty of ruckuses already, including the series getting postponed. As per the original schedule, the two teams would have been playing the third and final ODI tomorrow, but thanks to the Covid-19 hiccup – Sri Lanka’s batting coach Grant Flower and data analyst GT Niroshan tested positive upon their return to the country from England – and we have a deferred start.
Speaking of ruckus, meanwhile, none of the 50-over series might make much of that with the next two being T20 World Cup years, let alone two depleted (err… just that India only don’t look like that) sides taking each other on. But in times of ICC’s Men’s ODI Super League, there are no dead-rubbers anymore. Nothing is pleasing for Sri Lanka there either, by the way: they are ranked 12th in 13 teams, having lost seven of the nine they have played, with the only win coming against Bangladesh earlier this year, while the Bristol washout recently on their England tour luckily handed them five points, which they never otherwise seemed gaining, at least on that tour.
On the other side of the boat is India, a team with a depth deeper than the Mariana Trench. How about this? India’s UK contingent is worth 24 members, including four reserves. The Sri Lanka tour party comprises 25 members, five of them net bowlers. And, despite having 49 members in play simultaneously, there are players of the caliber of Jayadev Unadkat and Rahul Tewatia missing from either of the two squads, while Shreyas Iyer is nursing a shoulder injury.
Unlike their rivals, India’s headaches are pleasing and prospects bright. There are stories waiting to be made with some sensational IPL and domestic cricket names finding themselves in the spotlight.
There is the young Chetan Sakariya, who has defied odds and bone-chilling adversities to find himself aboard the team flight; Varun Chakravarthy, who might have made some name already if not for an injured shoulder immediately after receiving his maiden call-up for the 2020 Australian tour, and fitness issues later before 2021 England home series; Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Prithvi Shaw and Nitish Rana, who all have the weight of IPL and domestic cricket performances behind themselves.
This is also Shikhar Dhawan’s chance to find answers about his cricket future. Despite being a first-choice player for long, he would know that falling out of favour in this team is easier than anywhere else in the world. As much a chance it is for India’s once-beloved Chahal-Kuldeep duo to regroup – of course provided the team allows – and find their second wind as the spin twins. For brothers Pandyas and Chahars and the volatile Sanju Samson, one would suspect there are better chances to stamp their name inside the team with high-stake international cricket looming aplenty.
As for India’s ODI Super League concerns, they have an automatic qualification courtesy of being the hosts of the 2023 ODI World Cup. That said, wins with a fresh-faced squad against Sri Lanka in their backyard would certainly do them no harm.
Pitch and conditions
Colombo’s is one of the driest and spin-friendly tracks in the world. That said, with the new ball, the bowlers might extract some movement. More so as rain is forecast for Colombo but not enough to mess up the encounter much. Of the 121 ODIs at the venue, 71 have gone in favour of the team defending, given the track’s nature to slow down progressively. Opting to bat upon winning the toss might not be the worst choice, therefore.
Playing Combination for SL vs IND
With Kusal Perera ruled out, Sri Lanka has only more reasons to scratch their heads. Responsibilities will thus fall upon Avishka Fernando and young Pathum Nissanka at the top, while if Dhananjaya de Silva could emulate performances such as his run-a-ball 91 against England in what was a rather forgettable series otherwise, Sri Lanka might fancy giving some fight to the visitors. However, on Sunday, de Silva remains a doubtful starter as he picked a back injury while training.
Predicted XI: Avishka Fernando, Pathum Nissanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksha, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dhananjaya de Silva/Ramesh Mendis, Dasun Shanaka (C), Minod Bhanuka (WK), Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya/Lakshan Sandakan, Dushmantha Chameera
Thanks to India’s incredible depth, they will have some selection issues even while drawing a team from a second-string squad of sorts. Amongst the plenty of top-order options in Padikkal, Gaikwad, and even Kishan to an extent, Shaw still remains the likeliest to partner Dhawan. It remains to be seen if India brings back the Kul-Cha combination with many options in that genre.
Predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson/Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar/Navdeep Saini, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
SL vs IND Head-to-Head
Played – 159 | Sri Lanka – 56 | India – 91 | N/R – 11 | Tied- 1
In Sri Lanka
Played – 61 | Sri Lanka – 27 | India – 28 | N/R – 6
No two teams have played more ODIs against each other than India and Sri Lanka’s 159.
Nearing 36, Shikhar Dhawan is set to become the oldest Indian to make international captaincy debut.
If he scores 17 or more on Sunday, Dhawan will complete 1000 ODI runs against Sri Lanka in 17 innings.
SL vs IND Match Details
Match – Sri Lanka vs India 1st ODI
Venue – R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Time – 03:00 PM IST, 09:30 AM GMT
Telecast – Sony Sports Network, Sony LIV