IND vs SL: Shubman Gill likely to open instead of Kishan in the series opener

Shubman Gill over Ishan Kishan As Opener With Rohit Sharma. Sri Lanka will be hoping to continue their upward trajectory in ODIs, having won six of their last 10 matches.

  • Rohit Singh | January 10, 2023 | 2:35 am

IND vs SL: A few years ago, Sri Lanka was truly pathetic in the ODI format, but look, they’re a little better now. Or this is at least what we’re hoping. In the last year, they’ve won six of their 10 completed ODIs. Full disclosure, six of those matches were against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan. But then there was a glorious home series victory over Australia as well. In general, they are passing off as a team on an upward trajectory.

Image Source: Sportskeeda

The problem is, India of course are monster at home. IND vs SL, Since the start of 2020, They’ve won nine of their 12 completed ODIs in the country (and how strange a reality that India have only played 12 ODIs at home in the space of three years, when there used to be a time when they would have played 12 against Sri Lanka alone in that time.) IND vs SL, And let’s not talk about how the teams line up on paper. Because on paper, India tend to smash Sri Lanka every time now. IND vs SL, Thankfully, on the field, the rivalry has not been quite so one-sided, in T20Is at least.

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Shubman Gill over Ishan Kishan As Opener With Rohit Sharma

But we’re switching to ODI mode now, the World Cup in India late this year on everyone’s horizon. Sri Lanka have some serious personnel-searching to do before then. IND vs SL, Who will support the (currently injured) Dushmantha Chameera as a seam-bowling quick? Is the talented but uncapped (in this format) Dilshan Madushanka the bowler they will look to? How about hit-the-deck seam-merchant Kasun Rajitha? Or will they go back to the quicker Lahiru Kumara, who in 15 ODIs, has not impressed, but has recently shown signs of improvement with the white ball?

Image Source: Twitter

And can they get their spin attack sorted? Wanindu Hasaranga is a world-beating T20 legspinner, but his ODI record is modest in comparison. Maheesh Theekshana’s is only a little better. They are rightly Sri Lanka’s top picks, but have some work to do in this format. India have so much less to work out, and less to prove. Theirs are problems of plenty. If he does play, then one of Shreyas Iyer, or KL Rahul, both of whom have ODI averages well into the 40s, will likely have to make way.