Euro 2020 Special

India vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI preview: India Looking to Consolidate Advantage

India will meet Sri Lanka in the second ODI at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The home side will be looking to wrap up the series, after a convincing victory by 67 runs in the first match in Guwahati.

It was an encouraging start for the hosts in what is a long built-up to the World Cup which will be staged in India later this year.

Sri Lanka were competitive in the T20I series – at least in the first two games – but they were well-beaten on this occasion in the ODI format.


The First Match

The first match saw India post a big total of 373/7 after being put into bat, the centrepiece of which was a 45th ODI century from Virat Kohli, becoming  in the process the first Indian to score nine centuries in this format of the game against Sri Lanka.

Both openers, Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill were also amongst the runs, whilst there was also a return to form for KL Rahul.

Faced with such an imposing target, Sri Lanka were always up against it, and the loss of early wickets did not help their cause. Pathum Nissanka held the innings together, but it was left to their captain Dasun Shanaka to offer some late resistance with an unbeaten century of his own. It proved too little too late though, and his side lost by 67 runs.


Eden Gardens

Eden Gardens is the second-largest cricket ground in India (and the third-largest in the world). It has hosted 31 ODIs before, but none since 2017. South Africa were due to play an ODI here in 2020 but that had to be cancelled because of the Covid pandemic.

In 2014 Rohit Sharma hit the highest individual score recorded to date in ODI cricket when he made 264 out of an Indian total of 404. Their opponents that day – Sri Lanka!

That was one of three ODI victories by India against Sri Lanka in Kolkata and one other match ended in a no result.

However, it was also the scene of one of the most embarrassing incidents in the history of Indian cricket, when the two countries played their World Cup semi-final on the ground in 1996. With Sri Lanka on the verge of victory, the crowd began throwing missiles onto the pitch.

The match had to be abandoned and was subsequently conceded by India.


The pitch

Eden Gardens is regarded as an ideal surface for batters, in large part due to the smaller boundaries. However, as the match wears on it could offer some assistance to the spinners. There is also the dew to consider, which may have some decision when opting to bat or bowl first for the captain that wins the toss.

The perceived wisdom is that it is better to bat first because the pitch tends to get slower.

The weather

The weather on Thursday should be warm at the start of the game, but it should cool as it heads into the evening. There is little or no chance of rain.


Team News

India are likely to field an unchanged team. For Sri Lanka, there are doubts over pace bowler Dilshan Madushanka, who picked up a shoulder injury whilst fielding in the first match. If he is unfit, then Lahiru Kumara is likely to play in his place.

Apart from that, they do not have the squad options available to choose many alternatives.



On the evidence of the first game, India will consider themselves firm favourites going into this match, especially given that their batting line-up appears to be firing again.

And, given the surface in Eden Gardens, this could turn into another run-fest.

Sri Lanka’s best hope might be to win the toss and bat first, hoping the conditions come to their aid later in the game. And they also have the spinners that, could, potentially, cause the Indian batters some problems.

However, they do need several players able to offer support to Shanaka, apart from the odd individual. He cannot reasonably be expected to carry his team in every game.




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