Match Preview: Young Indian side look to kickstart Sri Lanka tour on a high
After a slight delay, the Indian tour of Sri Lanka is all set to kickstart with the first ODI at Colombo on Sunday.
While India will be missing their key players who are in England ahead of the five-match Test series, Sri Lanka also have certain constraints with regards to their senior players availability. Hence it will be a good chance for youngsters to capitalise from both sides.
The last time India lost to Sri Lanka in a bilateral series across any format was in the 2008 Test series. Hence, they will have an upper hand when both teams clash at the R.Premadasa Stadium.
We take you through some of the talking points ahead of the first ODI between India and Sri Lanka.
Golden opportunity for uncapped players
As many as six players have got their first break in the national squad. Nitish Rana, Devdutt Padikkal, Chetan Sakariya, Krishnappa Gowtham and Ruturaj Gaikwad, all have shown great mettle during IPL and also in the domestic circuit. They will be waiting to grab any opportunity and showcase their talent. The experience of Coach Rahul Dravid will also be valuable for the youngsters in the team.
Surya, Ishan eye ODI debut after success in T20Is
A lot of young players will look to create a greater impact in the series and cement their place in the side. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan will be aiming to make their ODI debut after a spectacular performance in the T20I series against England, earlier this year. Both went on to score fifties in their debut innings and will be keen to continue from where they left.
Dhawan to captain India for the maiden time
Shikhar Dhawan has been a prominent member of Team India's limited overs side. He will now get to lead the Men in Blue for the first time in his decade-long career. The southpaw has scored five fifties in his last eight ODIs and would look to lead from the front.
No Perera, Dickwella for Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan limited overs side has been hit hard due to injuries and suspension. Kusal Perera, who suffered a shoulder injury, has been ruled out of the series. Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis have been suspended indefinitely following a bio-bubble breach during their England tour.
Pacers eye selection for the T20 World Cup
After returning to the side earlier this year, Bhuvneshwar Kumar displayed sublime form, picking ten wickets across the ODIs and T20Is against England. He will have his eyes set on the T20 World Cup which is a few months away.
Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini will also be in contention. With Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur already in fray, one of the above pacers is likely to get the nod for the T20 World Cup. Hence, they will be eager to put their best foot forward in the Sri Lanka series.
We are likely to see a lot of young Indian players donning the national colours for the maiden time in this series. After years of hardwork and dedication, many will be fulfilling their dream to represent India. All these events make this series quite an exciting watch from the Indian team's perspective.