Sri Lanka and India clash in the opening game of the series at Eden Gardens
Sri Lanka will be looking to overturn their fortune against an Indian side, who just a few months back humiliated them on their home soil in all formats.Last time when the two teams faced each other in an extended bilateral series, Virat Kohli’s side thrashed Islanders 9-0.
However, since then few things have changed and changed for good, as Sri Lanka bounced back remarkably and clean sweep Pakistan in the UAE, and thus become the only team to achieve that feat so far.
Led by captain Dinesh Chandimal, who played an inspirational role in the series against Sarfaraz Ahmed’s men, the team is a mixture of youngsters with few seniors around them to guide them through. The team will be heavily boosted by the return of former skipper all-rounder Angelo Mathews, who missed all of the Pakistan series due to injury.
In the batting department, the team will rely on Mathews to partner Chandimal to deliver something substantial against might Indian batting lineup, whereas, in the bowling department, all eyes will be on veteran left-arm spinner Rangana Herath to deliver the goods.
For India, things look far more settled and the team is yet to lose any series on the home soil this season in any format.
Kohli will be hoping that his team can continue their good form and take advantage early on in the series. In the batting department, one change at the top is certain where KL Rahul is expected to get a nod ahead of Murali Vijay to open with Shikhar Dhawan.
Looking at the pitch conditions, it is more than likely that Kohli will go in with three seamers and just one spinner, which means only one of Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravendra Jadeja can cement their spot in the final eleven.
The pitch has some grass on it but with persistent rain, it is expected to be two-paced which will make it difficult for the batsman to settle in, whereas more rain is expected in the first three days of the match.