Group B: India v Sri Lanka at The Oval
Thursday Jun 8, 2017 – 19:30 AEST
|Top India Batsman||Virat Kohli ($3.50)|
|Top Sri Lanka Batsman||Kusal Mendis ($4.50)|
|Top India Bowler||Umesh Yadav ($5.00)|
|Top Sri Lanka Bowler||Suranga Lakmal ($4.50)|
India crushed Pakistan by 124 runs in their opening encounter and while Sri Lankan supporters may have dreamed briefly of an upset against South Africa, the result was all too apparent very soon. Can the Islanders regroup and put up a challenge against an Indian team that seems to be firing on all cylinders?
For two teams that seemed to play each other all the time in the years gone by, the last 5 years has seen them play each other only 15 times and no matches have been played between these two teams since 2014.
Of those 15 matches, India has won 12 including the last 5 matches played between the two. That is a very comprehensive record especially since Sri Lanka did not get into its rebuilding phase until a couple of years ago.
The Indian batting strength has been well documented but it is their bowling strength that is making the Wolf excited about their possible chances in this tournament. Sri Lanka will have to something very special to come out on top in this match otherwise they could find themselves fighting with Pakistan for a solitary victory in this tournament.
Players To Watch Out For
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started off well in the tournament putting together a century opening partnership in the first game. Rohit Sharma top-scored with 91 but his strike rate of 76.47 left a little to be desired. Even though Rohit’s top score of 264 came against Sri Lanka, his overall record against them is not great.
Virat Kohli, on the other hand, loves batting against Sri Lanka. With 1856 runs at an average of 56.24 and 6 hundreds to his name, he has dominated Sri Lanka for quite some time now. His last three innings against them have seen him hit two fifties and a hundred. He is the Wolf’s pick to be the top batsman for India in this match.
Sri Lanka started off very well against South Africa thanks to some attacking batting by Niroshan Dickwella and they would want to repeat that approach against India. Unfortunately, this high-risk approach means that backing Dickwella is not the best idea.
The Wolf like Kusal Mendis to come in and score a classy hundred in this match. His overall ODI record is pretty good with 856 runs from 26 matches at an average of 35.66. He got his first hundred just three matches back and has what it takes to combat the Indian attack.
Among the bowlers, Umesh Yadav for India started this tournament with 3 wickets for 30 runs after picking up three in the warm-up game against Bangladesh. His current form makes him the easy pick to be the top Indian bowler.
Sri Lanka struggled to take wickets against South Africa and even though Suranga Lakmal bowled with a lot of skill, he would be disappointed at having picked only one wicket. A little bit of luck could add a few wickets to his wicket tally and the Wolf is backing him to be the top Sri Lankan bowler once again.
Pitch and Conditions
The conditions are expected to be overcast with a few light showers around. Hopefully, a full match will be able to be played out though. The pitch at the Oval is excellent for batting, however, the cloud cover could provide some swing in the opening few overs for the bowlers.
Backing India to win is the way to go here.
Kumar has been in excellent form leading up to the tournament while Bumrah struggled in the opening match against Pakistan. Overcast conditions could also mean wickets with the new ball for Kumar.
Value Bet: Man of the Match: Umesh Yadav ($21.00)