India chase; Sri Lanka hand debut to Vishwa Fernando

Toss India chose to bowl v Sri Lanka



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For the fourth time on this tour, the coin fell in India’s favour and Virat Kohli opted to chase, citing the way in which the ball came onto the bat when they practiced under lights on the eve of the match.

While teams insist in public that they’d rather not be fussed about the opposition’s strengths, the result of the toss nevertheless denied Sri Lanka the chance to do something that they have done well recently. Two of their most recent wins in ODIs have come after the opposition had put a target in front of them. And the same was the case when they last beat India as well, in the Champions Trophy.

Despite that though, the new limited-overs captain Upul Tharanga said he wanted to bat first. He also hoped the returns of Lasith Malinga, who is playing his 200th ODI, Thisara Perera and Chamara Kapugedera would lend the experience Sri Lanka will need to pose a greater threat than they did in the Tests. A man that did do reasonably well during that 0-3 whitewash, left-arm seamer Vishwa Fernando was given his ODI cap.

India too had a few players getting their first chances to play on this tour. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were back to lead the seam attack and Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal would take care of spin-bowling duties. KL Rahul would bat at No. 4. And with Hardik Pandya as the allrounder, and some part-time overs from Kedar Jadhav if needed, left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav was placed on the bench. So were Ajinkya Rahane, who had won a Man-of-the-Series award last month against West Indies, Manish Pandey, who has been in fine form for the A team and uncapped seamer Shadul Thakur.

Sri Lanka 1 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 2 Danushka Gunathilaka, 3 Kusal Mendis, 4 Upul Tharanga (capt.), 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Chamara Kapugedara, 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Thisara Perera, 9 Lakshan Sandakan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Vishwa Fernando

India 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt.), 4 KL Rahul, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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