The Big Picture – Why Dead Rubber Still Matters
India will try to fine tune their strategy and XI. Should their top three continue to play the aggressive brand of cricket they have adopted so far in this series? Of the two wrist spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav – who is his preferred option? Is Umran Malik ready for the big stage?
Sri Lanka, perhaps, is still looking for a few pieces to complete its puzzle. Pathum Nissanka scored 72 in the first ODI, but missed the next one due to a stiff back. In his absence, debutant Nuwanidu Fernando scored a half-century to further his case. If Nissanka is available for the 3rd ODI, who will Sri Lanka drop? It’s a headache they won’t mind.
India WWWLL (Last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
Sri Lanka LLWLL
In the spotlight – Mohammed Siraj and Kusal Mendis
Mohammed Shami may be spearheading India’s pace attack at the moment, but Mohammed Siraj Has made a big impact in this series taking five wickets at 12.00 with an economy rate of 4.73. He seems to have become more aware of his own strength. In the second ODI, with the new ball not swinging, he turned to wobble-seam bowling and cast Avishka Fernando with a nip-backer to give India early success.
kusal mendis By far the most experienced batsman in this Sri Lanka line-up. He played some useful innings during the T20I series, and also did well in the second ODI, scoring a one-ball 34. If Sri Lanka is to challenge India, Mendis will have to bat longer.
Team News – Will Chahal be back?
Chahal missed the second ODI due to pain in his right shoulder. If he is available for Sunday’s match, it will be interesting to see if Kuldeep Yadav misses out on another player of the match performance.
India (Probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (c), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Akshar Patel, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Umran Malik, 11 Mohammad Siraj.
It will not be easy to keep Nuwanidu out after scoring a half-century at the top of the order in the last match. Given that he bats in the middle order in domestic cricket, Charith Aslanka may have to be dropped if Nissanka is available.
Sri Lanka (Probable): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Avishka Fernando, 3 Kusal Mendis (wk), 4 Nuwanidu Fernando/Charith Aslanka, 5 Dhananjaya de Silva, 6 Dasun Shanaka (c), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Dunith Velalej, 9 Chamika Karunaratne, 10 Kasun Rajita, 11 Lahiru Kumara.
pitch and terms
The Greenfield International Stadium has hosted only one ODI till date: India vs West Indies in 2019. Batting first, the West Indies were bowled out for 104, and India followed with nine wickets to spare. The day time temperature should be around 30°C; It will get a bit chilly at night. There is no forecast for rain.
Stats & Trivia – Kohli vs Jayawardene
“We’ll see the pitch [in Thiruvananthapuram]We will definitely keep an eye on some of our players as there are three ODIs against New Zealand as well. So we have to keep the players fresh. We have a long season, so we have to keep everything in mind. If needed, we will make some changes.”
India captain Rohit Sharma after 2nd ODI
Hemant Brar is the Deputy Editor at ESPNcricinfo