After an abrupt end to the West Indies tour of India, BCCI has managed to get Sri Lanka to fill the void. The first One Day between India and West Indies gets underway at the Barabati stadium in Cuttack. It will be a day/night match and it is always good to bat first during the winter in India. Both teams will look to bat first if they win the toss on account of dew during the second half of the match. India played well against West Indies in the rain-curtailed One day series and will be high on confidence.
Sri Lanka has agreed to play a full fledged series against India but definitely lack match practice. They would not have been well prepared for the series and it very well show in the first match. I expect Sri Lanka to struggle a bit especially since the conditions will take a toll on the bowlers. There will not be much sun around and the tracks will not be dry. The spinners will have a hard time in Cuttack. Sri Lanka mainly relies on spin so they will have a tough time keeping the Indian batsmen to a modest total.
Raina, Kohli and Rahane played well in the just concluded series against West Indies and will look to make a mark against Sri Lanka as well. The return of Rohit Sharma will be watched closely as well since he is an important player keeping the world cup in mind. He may play in the middle order in place of Rayudu as he has the technique to bat anywhere in the batting order. His return is much awaited as his form will be crucial while building the team for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Indian batting is more or less sorted and they will make some changes to the bowling. The only big change in the Indian team is that Dhoni has opted to rest out of the series.
Dhaval Kulkarni may get a chance in this series as a result of few bowlers getting. He has the skills that may even make him part of the World Cup squad if he does well in this tournament. Sri Lanka will rely on Dilshan and Kushal Perrera to give them a good start if they want to stay in the match. With lack of match practice for Sri Lanka, India has the advantage in the first match of the series.
India – 1.50 @ Bet365