Colombo: An indignant India will imagine their chances of completing a clean sweep of 5-0 in Sri Lanka when they face the besieged hosts in the fifth and final game of a National League day on Sunday.
Visitors have already swept the 3-0 test series, and given his dominant run on this trip, he would like to sweep the ODI series as well.
Sri Lanka is in danger of losing a second successive ODI series to India by a margin of 5-0. The last time these two bands played a two-way series in November 2014, a Los Angeles side defeat lost 5-0 in India.
His fortune has not changed much since then and another loss would be a serious blow to the hosts in what has been a traumatic cricket summer. They have already lost the opportunity to automatically qualify for the ODI 2019 World Cup by not having won two games in this series.
That 5-0 victory in 2014-15 was India’s last ODI series. Since they beat Zimbabwe 3-0 twice, they beat them 5-0 in 2013.
Considering a tougher opposition, India beat New Zealand and England 5-0 in 2010-11 and 2012-13 respectively, the two victories of the series coming at home.
In fact, England is the only team to lose 5-0 twice to India (in 2008-09 as well) in the last decade, so the blue men will be eager to add another entry to this short list.
Given the heat and humidity here, and the efforts of what has been a long, if not arduous, tour, the Indian team enjoyed an additional day of rest before the fifth ODI.
There are no injury concerns and the same game combination can expect to be retained tomorrow, with the likes of Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav and Shardul Thakur given a new opportunity to impress.
In addition, coach Ravi Shastri had spoken on Friday about the need to carefully manage the workloads of bowlers in all formats. It remains to be seen if Hardik Pandya will give him a break under this light, and Kedar Jadhav will offer another chance to impress, ahead of a long and limited calendar at home.
In light of the experimentation policy and rotation of the team, Ajinkya Rahane is the only hitter who does not get game time in this series. With Rohit Sharma returning and scoring races, and Shikhar Dhawan in good shape, the management team so far did not play with the opening combination.
Rahane, meanwhile, had won the man of the series in the last ODI engagement in the West Indies with 336 five-game races, including one hundred and thirty-three centuries.
There is a chance that you could be given a game ahead of Dhawan in this final ODI if only to consolidate his place as the designated third option opener.
This also puts the spotlight on KL Rahul who was given a middle-ranking role in the current ODI series, keeping specifically the preparation for the next World Cup in mind. So far that experiment has not worked with Rahul returning scores of 4, 17 and 7 in its three outputs.
Curiously, Rahul has fallen to Akila Dananjay in all three games. While it will be a matter of concern for team management, they will also want to give you more opportunities to strengthen the case for a middle-ranking position.
The half century of Manish Pandey in the fourth ODI gives the team an additional leeway in this regard.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is expected to make at least one chance to play XI. Captain Upul Tharanga will again be in charge of the affairs after sitting the last two games due to his suspension by the rate of slowness. It is expected that the slot in the middle order once again and Lahiru Thirimanne could be asked to open the tickets instead.
It remains to be seen if the Lankan captain can inspire a serious challenge in this fifth ODI after a mediocre summer. More than anything, however, after two suspensions in three months, Tharanga will be looking to complete the 50 overs within the stipulated time.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (captain), Lasith Malinga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dilshan Munaweera, Lahiru Thirimanna, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (guillotine), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaspur Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar , Shardul Thakur.happy wheels
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