India vs Sri Lanka 1st ODI: Preview, Live telecast, Live streaming, India time, Colombo weather details

Winning any international series will be paramount but one can expect a few combinations being tried out during a series which got delayed by five days due to COVID-19 scare in the Sri Lankan camp.

The series comprises three ODIs and as many T20s and the first ODI has the predictio of scattered thunderstorms as well. Dasun Shanaka is their 10th captain in four years and barring a classy batsman like Dhananjaya de Silva and a steady pacer in Dushmantha Chameera, this team lacks quality to challenge the might of Indian team led by Shikhar Dhawan.

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The suspension of Kusal Mendis and Niroshan Dickwella due to bio-bubble breach in UK along with injury to former skipper Kusal Perera puts Sri Lanka in a tight spot. If they can manage to win one game, that will be an achievement in itself after a disastrous tour of England.

Expect Prithvi Shaw, Vijay Hazare Trophy’s top scorer to open alongside Dhawan, while seniors Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are expected to find automatic slots in the playing XI.

However, there are multiple contenders for other slots. Will it be Devdutt Padikkal or Ruturaj Gaikwad for No 3 slot? Will Suryakumar Yadav’s 360 degree hitting ability be used or Manish Pandey get a final chance to show some consistency?

Will K Gowtham’s off-spin and big hits be preferred over Krunal Pandya’s left-arm darts along with cheeky batting skills? How is Rahul Chahar placed against Yuzvendra Chahal, who hasn’t been in best of forms of late? And who will don the big gloves? Is it Rahul Dravid’s protege Sanju Samson or the mercurial Mumbai Indians man Ishan Kishan?

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These are questions that needs to be answered by the team management during the next 11 days in Colombo. India’s bench strength has been a matter of envy for all top cricketing nations and has allowed two national teams to compete in different parts of the globe in COVID times.

The team led by Dhawan and coached by Rahul Dravid — the man responsible for creating the pool, will never accept that this is a “second string” outfit taking on islanders, who are going through their lowest ebb.

While there are six uncapped players in this Indian line-up, Dravid had recently made it clear that it will be difficult to provide game time to all the available payers.

There aren’t many slots available in the Indian team for the T20 World Cup and it would need some out of the world show from the rookies in order to find a slot in the UAE bound team. Among the newcomers, Varun Chakravarthy has a good chance of making the World T20 cut and Chetan Sakariya’s left-arm seam bowling is an option they would like to look at.

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Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, the pair who could do no wrong till 2019 World Cup, are both on borrowed time right now and it couldn’t have been a better time to face a struggling Sri Lanka.

However, Dhawan himself is still not assured of a ticket to UAE extravaganza with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul being contenders to open the innings. Dhawan is someone, who can only bat at the top and the skipper himself would like to reassert his supremacy in both formats. Ditto for Buvneshwar, who would like to see himself in that T20 attack along with Jasprit Bumrah.

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Squads

India: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Krishnappa Gowtham, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakaravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chetan Sakariya, Navdeep Saini.

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Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Dhananjaya De Silva (Vice Captain), Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Udara, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dhananjaya, Shiran Fernando, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Ishan Jayaratne, Praveen Jayawickrema, Asitha Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana.

Match date: Sunday, June 18

Match time: 3 PM IST

Live telecast: Sony Sports Networks

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Live streaming: Sony LIV

Weather: Hot and possibility of scattered thunderstorms

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