SL vs IND | 3rd ODI: Hosts look for pride salvation, but is Dravid ready to test bench strength?

Abhishek Singh

| Jul 22, 2021 9:36 AM

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It was not at all likeable scene when Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur lashed out on skipper Dasun Shanaka after the hosts missed the opportunity to square up the ODI series having gotten India six-wicket down with more than 70 runs to be scored. Later on, Arthur clarified in a tweet that it was rather a very good debate between him and his captain. Will that debate have any outcome on the last match of the series is yet to be seen. 

Sri Lanka playing for pride and relevance

When the Sri Lankan team will take the field on July 23 at the R Premadasa Stadium, more than anything else, it would be about them remaining relevant among the permanent members of the ICC, having lost all but one of their 11 Cricket World Cup Super Leagues.

This is the first series of the CWC Super League, the qualifying league for the ICC World Cup 2023 in India, that the Lankan Lions are playing at home. They lost to West Indies 0-3, to Bangladesh 1-2 and to England 0-3, all away from home. 

Even in this series, they were roughed up in the first game, but came back very well in the second one and almost won it. In the third and the last game of the series, they would look to make amend and try and register the all-important 10 Super League points on the board before it gets too late. 

Having already been forced to play a Qualifying stage of the T20 World Cup, the Sri Lankan side wouldn’t want to take the humiliation to the next level being forced to play the ODI World Cup qualifiers as well. The team is young and has a leader with good heald on shoulders. All it needs is some support from the coaching staff and the country and the sharpening of the skills and trust in those skills to execute them in crucial situations. 

India could trade 10 Super League points to test bench strength

Since India is going to be hosting the 2023 World Cup, it doesn’t need any Super League points specifically. Having said that, no team likes to lose no matter what the importance of the match is. But Rahul Dravid is such a coach who doesn’t like to bench his players for long. At the start of the series, his and Team India’s aim was to win the series. Now that it has been won, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we see 5-6 changes in the team for the next game. 

Skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw, both have had a go in the ODI series and although they had one success and one failure, Dravid would be tempting to test the confidence of Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad in international waters. Similarly, with Sanju Samson having recovered from his injury, he would likely be tried at Ishan Kishan’s place. 

Others in the fray could be Nitish Rana getting a game in place of Suryakumar Yadav. The three spinners part of the first two games could also be completely swapped with  Krishnappa Gowtham having an outing in place of Krunal Pandya and Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar getting a game each ahead of the T20s. 

The Kul-Cha in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav could be rested as well. Chetan Sakariuya,  a find of the IPL and consistent performer in the last domestic season deserves a place and Deepak Chahar, after that scintillating performance in the last game would love some time to rest and revitalise for the shortest format series. 

Sri Lanka vs India: Match Details

Match Number-  3rd ODI

Date and Time: 03:00 pm IST, 09:30 am GMT, 03:00 pm Local

Venue: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

Broadcast and Streaming in India: Sony Sports Network and Sony LIV

Pitch Report

As has been witnessed during the last two ODIs, the pitch is perfectly suited for an ODI game with enough turn for the spinners and offering early swing for the pace bowlers as well. If the batsmen settle in, he has a great chance of making big, only that no one has been able to do that from any team in the last two games. However, a score of anything less than 290 is not safe on the wicket. 

Weather Forecast and Toss

Even after it being the monsoon season in Sri Lanka and pouring down heavily in Tamil Nadu of India, which shares its water borders with the island country, Premadasa Stadium has so far been lucky to escape the wrath of the rain gods. However, it seems that it wouldn’t be lucky thrice as there are huge chances of rain in Colombo on Friday, July 23. 

In fact, during the match timings, the chances increase to 51-60% with the humidity ranging between 77-89% during that period. 

As far as winning the toss and making a decision is concerned, both the captains would be looking to field first. 

Team News

Sri Lanka

With Bahnuka Rajapaksa getting injured in the field during the second game and his form not showing any kind of improvement, Pathum Nissanka might be able to get a game and get some runs under his belt as well. Avishka Fernando needs to remain patient when it comes to his batting approach as he missed two good starts in the first two games. 

Either Akila Dhananjaya and Praveen Jayawickrma need to get a game in place of Lakshan Sandakan as he has proved costly in both the games. Apart from his leg-spin, Dhananjaya’s ability to use the long handle with the bat pushes his case forward. 

However, Praveen did exceedingly well in the Tests against Bangladesh at home and brings variety with his left arm orthodox as Sri Lanka already have a leg spinner in Waninndu Hasarna and an off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva. 

Probable XI

Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananjaya/ Praveen Jayawickrma Kasun Rajitha


India would most likely make eight changes as it seems that the rest of the players who haven’t got a game till now might be tried. Thus Padikkal, Gaikwad, Rana, Sakariya, Gowtham, Rahul Chahar and Chakravarthy might be making their India debuts while Samson might get an international game after a long time too. 

Probable XI

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Sanju Samson (wk), Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar (c), Rahul Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, Chetan Sakariya

Dream XI fantasy team

Avishka Fernando, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Sanju Samson (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Hardik Pandya, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Krishnappa Gowtham, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar 

Captain- Wanindu Hasaranga

Vice-Captain- Hardik Pandya

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