Four possible candidates who could become Indi…

Will Gary Kirsten come back for another stint as the Indian coach?

During the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, there were reports of a rift between the Indian captain Virat Kohli and the head coach Anil Kumble. Initially, the pair denied any such disagreements. However, the rumors proved to be true at the end of the tournament.

Anil Kumble’s infamous exit from the Indian team created several outrages among the Indian cricket fans, former players, and experts. In July 2017, Ravi Shastri, another former Indian cricketer, replaced Kumble as the head coach and under Shastri, Indian cricket witnessed a notable rise in quality.

With Shastri’s tenure nearing the end, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently invited the applicants for the head coach role and other support staff roles. With Shastri set to receive an automatic entry in the recruitment process, here is a look at four other possible candidates who could become the next head coach for India.

#4 Simon Katich

Simon Katich

Former Australian batsman Simon Katich represented his nation for almost two decades, with his unique batting stance and trigger movement often compared with the style of former West Indies cricketer, Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

After the 2010-11 Ashes series, Katich was infamously excluded from Australia’s central contract list. Even though his international career came to an abrupt end, he continued to play in the domestic scenario for the next three years. Having led the Perth Scorchers to their maiden BBL trophy in the 2013-14 season, Katich called time on his playing career.

In October 2015, the Kolkata Knight Riders roped in Katich as the assistant coach to support head coach Jacques Kallis. After four years as an assistant coach, he recently parted ways with KKR. Besides, Katich has been coaching the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League since 2017. Under his guidance, TKR have won the CPL twice.

At the start of this month, the Manchester-based side in The Hundred appointed him as their head coach. With some other established names in the race for claiming the spot, Katich has only an outside chance of becoming India’s next head coach.

#3 Mahela Jayawardena

Mahela Jayawardene

Mahela Jayawardena, the former Sri Lankan skipper, had a stellar international career. With more than 20,000 international runs, Jayawardena is one of the greatest players in the history of cricket. Sri Lanka’s defeat at the hands of South Africa in the 2015 World Cup quarterfinals brought down the curtains to his international career.

His coaching career started with a role as a batting consultant for England as part of the 2015 UAE tour against Pakistan. Later, he replaced Ricky Ponting as the head coach of Mumbai Indians in the 2017 edition of IPL. Under his guidance, Mumbai Indians have won two IPL trophies in the last three seasons. Besides, he also had a two-year stint with the Khulna Titans as part of the Bangladesh Premier League. 

A few months ago, Jayawardene rejected the offer presented by the Sri Lanka Cricket Board to play a part in Sri Lanka’s World Cup 2019 campaign. A good coaching record in a short period apart from abundant experience from playing the sport makes him an able candidate.

#2 Tom Moody

Tom Moody

Tom Moody, the former Australian all-rounder, had a relatively short International career. Post retirement in 2001, he has donned several roles such as a head coach, commentator, and the Director of Cricket as well.

Moody was one of the contenders for India’s head coach role in 2005. However, he lost out the position to his fellow country mate, Greg Chappell. Nevertheless, Moody was soon drafted into the role of Sri Lanka’s head coach and guided them to the 2007 World Cup Final.

He also coached Western Australia in 2007 and guided the team to the 2007-08 KFC Twenty20 Big Bash final and was also a part of Kings XI Punjab’s team management during the inaugural IPL season.

In 2013, he joined the Sunrisers Hyderabad as their coach and has served the role for seven consecutive seasons. During his tenure as coach, the Hyderabad franchise has reached the playoffs five times in the last seven years, apart from winning the title in 2016.

When India last advertised for the head coach role in 2017, Tom Moody once again applied for the role. However, Ravi Shastri was selected for the role as Moody missed out yet again. With the opportunity to seal the role yet again in the picture, Moody could well be looking to throw his hat in the ring.

#1 Gary Kirsten

Gary Kirsten

Ever since the openings for the role of the head coach was announced, Gary Kirsten’s name was the most prominent one, with scores of Indian cricket fans wanting the 2011 World Cup winning coach back in the team management.

After the infamous removal of Greg Chappell in 2008, Gary Kirsten became the head coach of India. During his tenure (2008-11), the Indian team witnessed several highs and won several trophies. In particular, the 2011 World Cup win will always remain one of his best achievements.

After his stint with the Indian team, Kirsten moved back to South Africa and took up the job of coaching South Africa in June 2011. After a two-year stint with his home country, Kirsten stepped down as the head coach citing family commitments.

Since then, Kirsten has only coached various T20 teams. In the IPL, he coached the Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) for two seasons (2014 and 2015) and returned to the IPL in the 2018 edition as the batting coach of RCB. For the 2019 edition, RCB appointed him as their head coach. Apart from this, he coached the Hobart Hurricanes in the Big Bash League for just a single season (2017-18).

Recently, when the search was on for a suitable candidate to take up the head coach role of the Indian women’s team, Gary Kirsten’s name was on the final list. However, WV Raman, the former Indian cricketer, got the nod ahead of Gary Kristen.

Now, with the men’s team coach role vacan, Gary Kirsten once again appears to be the front-runner for the position. Besides, his familiarity with the Indian team and the skipper Virat Kohli makes him the prime candidate for the job.

World Cup 2019: Ranking the top five batsmen o…

Rohit and Warner finished at the top of the leading run-scorer list

Before the World Cup, fans and critics expected the tournament to be a batsman’s tournament. Change in rules and improvement in batsmen’s equipments had tilted the game in their favour in the limited-overs format. In the last few years, we had seen even scores of 350 plus being chased with ease.

Contrary to the predictions made by fans and critics, bowlers did have a role to play in the tournament. The pitches had something for the bowlers so the batsmen had to work hard for their runs, especially in the latter half of the tournament.

Teams had to work hard to even chase score around 250, owing to the conditions and pressure of the World Cup. In spite of these difficulties, we saw a record seven batsmen score more than 500 runs in the tournament. To put this in context, before this tournament, only seven batsmen had been able to achieve this feat in all the editions.

It is very difficult to pick the best in the tournament, but here is a selection of the batsmen who made the most impact with the willow.

#5 David Warner – 647 runs

David Warner

David Warner was making a return to international cricket after serving a ban for his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal. The devastating opener curbed his attacking instincts for the benefit of the team as he took his time before going for his shots.

It proved to be a great move as the left-hander finished as the second top-scorer of the tournament. Warner scored 647 runs in the tournament including three centuries and three half-centuries.

The Australian opener had a chance to become the highest scorer of the tournament but he fell short by one run in the semi-final. While it was a great tournament on a personal level, the left-hander must be disappointed as he could not save his team from being knocked out by England.

#4 Jonny Bairstow – 532 runs

Jonny Bairstow was at the front of England’s resurgence in the tournament

Jonny Bairstow has been one of the best batsmen in the ODIs in the last few years. At one stage, England seemed to be struggling to even qualify for the semi-finals. Critics and fans started to question if the English team could handle the pressure, but Bairstow came out in style and silenced the doubters, particularly aiming former English cricketers Michael Vaughan and Kevin Pietersen.

The right-handed batsman scored two centuries in the last two matches of the group stage against India and New Zealand to help his team qualify for the semi-finals, bringing England back to their aggressive ways.

While he failed to put a big score in the final, he scored a stroke-filled half-century against a Mitchell Starc-led bowling line-up in the semi-final to give England the momentum ahead of the final.

#3 Shakib Al Hasan – 606 runs

Shakib Al Hasan

Shakib Al Hasan was the most consistent batsmen in the 2019 World Cup. The Bangladeshi all-rounder was in incredible form of the tournament as he scored at least 40 runs in every innings in the 2019 World Cup.

In the process, Shakib scored two centuries and five half-centuries, which helped him equal the world record set by Sachin Tendulkar. The left-hander scored fifty or more runs in an innings seven times, which is the same as the number of by the Indian maestro in the 2003 edition.

Despite his heroics, he could not save his team from bowing out of the tournament in the league stage. While it was a disappointing tournament for Bangladesh, no one will forget the effort of Shakib. He also picked 11 wickets to become the first player to achieve the double of scoring more than 600 runs and taking more than 10 wickets in a single World Cup.

#2 Rohit Sharma – 648 runs

Rohit Sharma

While Indian fans are still recovering from the disappointment of the semi-final loss to New Zealand, they can take heart from some of the performances in the league stage. Rohit Sharma was on fire as he scored five centuries in just eight innings before the semi-final.

The “Hitman” scored 648 runs throughout the tournament to finish as the top-scorer of the tournament. In the process, the right-hander broke Kumar Sangakkara’s record of most centuries in a single World Cup campaign. Rohit looked like a man on a mission to win the tournament for India.

He failed to deliver against New Zealand in the semi-final as the dream was cut short for the Men in Blue. This also meant that he fell short of Sachin Tendulkar’s all-time record of most runs in a single record. While the semi-final was a forgettable match, it was a memorable tournament for Rohit Sharma.

#5 Kane Williamson – 578 runs

Kane Williamson

Cricket is a team sport but some players have the ability to singlehandedly upgrade a team. One of those players is Kane Williamson, who played a pivotal role in the success of his team in the 2019 World Cup. While three batsmen scored more than Williamson in the tournament, the Kiwi captain deserves the first spot due to his importance to New Zealand.

Williamson scored at least 228 runs more than anyone for New Zealand in their campaign. The Kiwi top-order had a poor World Cup but the right-hander dug his team out of trouble on multiple occasions throughout the tournament.

He scored back to back match-winning centuries against South Africa and West Indies to help his team qualify for the semi-finals. In the semi-final, he scored a brilliant half-century against India, which helped Kiwis post a competitive total on the board. While Williamson and his team suffered heartbreak in the final, he deservedly walked home with the Man of the Tournament award.

World Cup 2019: Three reasons why Ravindra Jad…

Ravindra Jadeja

Not too long ago, former Indian cricketer and commentator, Sanjay Manjrekar was involved in a heated Twitter battle with Ravindra Jadeja. At one stage, Manjrekar had labeled the Indian all-rounder as a “bits and pieces” cricketer. Their tussle caught the attention of everyone and became the center of the debate for a few days.

Soon after this incident, Jadeja played his first game in the ICC World Cup 2019 against Sri Lanka. In his ten overs, he conceded only 40 runs and scalped the wicket of Kusal Mendis with a nice tossed-up delivery. 

In the semi-final game against New Zealand, he retained his place, and the rest is history. His knock against New Zealand will arguably go down as one of the best knocks in the history of World Cup. It is fair to say that Jadeja has completely shut down all the criticisms with his all-round performance in the semi-final.

It is hard to believe that he played only two games for India in the tournament. On that note, let us look at three reasons why Jadeja should have played more games and deserved more chances in the tournament.

#3 An accurate finger-spinner

Jadeja has taken 176 wickets in ODIs

Ever since the completion of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, India slowly started to change their bowling attack combination. Impressed with the success of wrist-spinners in the T20s, India began to follow that trend in ODIs. As a result, they dropped R Ashwin and Jadeja from the limited-overs setup.

Since then, the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal became the prominent spinners in the limited-overs team. This tactic of using two wrist spinners worked wonders for India in the last two years.

During the Asia Cup 2018, Jadeja was recalled to the ODI team as an injury replacement. After the Asia Cup, Virat Kohli included only one wrist spinner in the playing XI along with Jadeja in few matches. This method ensured that the workload of the two leggies was well managed.

Since the World Cup was a huge stage, Kohli did not want to stay away from his tested methods. Hence, he persisted with his successful formula of two wrist spinners in the first few games.

Once the tournament started to progress, the pitches became very slow and flat. Since a finger spinner loves these conditions, India should have moved to the ‘Plan B’ of one wrist spinner and one finger spinner. In this case, the wrist spinner could have attacked from one end and looked for wickets. Meanwhile, Jadeja could have contained the flow of runs from the other end by bowling his typical stump-to-stump line.

Besides, he often hurries the batsmen with his pace and finishes his overs very quickly. Hence, more pressure would have been created from both the ends, which might have led to better returns by the spinners.

#2 Excellent in the field

Jadeja easily one of the best fielder in the World

During the semi-final game between India and New Zealand, the broadcasters showed an interesting stat. It was the overall fielding report of most runs saved by a player in the tournament. With more than 100 players participating in the tournament, Jadeja bulldozed everyone and sat at the top of the list having saved a whopping 41 (inner ring: 24, outfield: 17) in the tournament.

Since he is one of the best fielders in the international cricket, India always fields him as a substitute whenever he cannot find a place in the playing XI. Besides, his bullet-arm throw from the deep or inside the circle makes the opposition batsman rethink twice before opting for a close run.

Even in the semi-final, his accurate gun-throw from the deep caught Ross Taylor well short of the crease. Now, imagine the number of runs that Jadeja would have saved if he played all the nine games and fielded for the entire 50 overs.

#1 Provides better balance

Jadeja scored a crucial fifty in the semi-finals

Before the announcement of India’s World Cup squad, there was a tussle between Vijay Shankar and Ambati Rayudu for the No. 4 slot. In the end, Shankar got the nod because of his “three-dimensional” abilities as a cricketer.

In the meantime, almost everyone forgot the fact that Jadeja is also a three-dimensional player. Though his style of bowling might differ with Shankar, Jadeja is no mug with his bowling. Also, his bowling style would have also added another flavor to the Indian bowling attack.

Besides, Jadeja’s addition would have further strengthened the lower-order batting. His blistering innings against New Zealand in the semi-final is an example of his batting skills. He can also provide blazing cameos towards the end of the innings and can stabilize the innings, as he did in the warm-up match against New Zealand. As mentioned earlier, he would have contributed even more with his fielding skills.

Overall, Jadeja’s inclusion would have added much more balance to the side, allowing India to play an extra genuine batsman.

World Cup 2019, Semifinal 2: 3 reasons why Aus…

England vs Australia

Hosts England booked their presence in the summit clash of the World Cup 2019 as they defeated Australia by a massive eight-wicket margin that knocked the defending champions out of the World Cup.

Australian skipper Aaron Finch won the toss and decided to bat first. However, there was some nip in the wicket at the start and it proved to be fatal for the Aussies as their top order departed with just 14 runs on the board.

A brilliant partnership between Alex Carey and Steve Smith brought things back on track but a double-wicket over from Adil Rashid swung things England’s way. In the end, Australia were bundled out for 223 runs in 49 overs.

In reply, England’s openers came out all guns blazing and smashed Australian fast bowlers all over the park. The trusted pair of Roy-Bairstow delivered once again with a 100-run partnership at the top.

The formalities were completed in the 32nd over as captain Eoin Morgan smashed the decisive boundary off Behrendorff to guide England into the final of World Cup after a gap of 27 years.

Here is a look at three reasons why Australia were eliminated in the semi-finals.

#1 Openers fail to get going

Finch went for a golden duck.

Australian openers have been the pillar of Australia’s success in the 2019 World Cup. Both Aaron Finch and David Warner were stupendous with the bat and forged 100-run partnerships in the tournament with ridiculous ease, in the leadup to the semifinal.

These two laid solid platforms for the underwhelming middle order to capitalize upon. However, when it mattered the most, both of them departed without troubling the scorers much.

Finch’s nemesis- the inswinger, once again led to his demise as Jofra Archer got his first ball spot on and Finch was caught right in front of the stumps. Warner looked in good touch as he smashed two boundaries off Chris Woakes. However, Woakes had the last laugh as he induced an edge from Warner which was safely taken by Jonny Bairstow at first slip.

Usman Khawaja’s replacement Peter Handscomb had a forgettable outing and was cleaned up by Woakes for a golden duck. These big blows saw Australia find themselves under the pump early on in the contest.

#2 Rashid dismantles the middle order

The Smith-Carey partnership was broken by Rashid.

Australia’s inform batsman Alex Carey along with former captain Steve Smith brought some parity to the proceedings as the duo added more than 100 runs for the fourth wicket. Just when Carey was looking to launch into the England attack, Rashid dismissed him as the substitute fielder James Vince took a comfortable catch at deep midwicket.

In the very same over, Rashid deceived Marcus Stoinis with the wrong one. Stoinis was struck right in front of the stumps and the on-field umpire Kumar Dharamsena had no hesitation in raising his finger. This double wicket over brought England back on top in the game.

Rashid wasn’t done yet and returned to take the wicket of Pat Cummins to dig Australia in a deeper hole. Rashid’s spell of 3/54 was decisive in the end as it didn’t allow Australia to break free. With all the focus on the faster men, it was Rashid’s wrist spin that did the trick for the home side.

#3 Pacers have an off day

Mitchell Starc

Australia’s seam attack has looked solid in this World Cup. Mitchell Starc has spearheaded Australia’s campaign and has been the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 27 wickets.

Starc was clinical with the ball throughout the World Cup 2019, providing crucial breakthroughs for Australia. He was ably supported by Jason Behrendorff and Pat Cummins.

Defending a small target of 224 runs, Australia needed some big wickets right at the top from their star pacemen. They were very successful in the league stage against England and were hoping for similar success in the semis.

However, it didn’t go according to the plans for the defending champions as the England openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow put on 124 runs for the first wicket in no time. The trio of Aussie pacemen could only pick two wickets from their combined 24 overs. It led to Australia’s first ever defeat in the semi-finals of a World Cup.

World Cup 2019, Semifinal 1: 3 reasons why Ind…

Heartbreak for India

India took on New Zealand in the first semifinal of the 2019 World Cup in a match which was played over two days due to incessant rains. A confident show from the Black Caps saw them register an 18-run win over India to book their spot in the finals while Virat Kohli’s men were forced to bow out of the competition.

Opting to bat first under overcast conditions, the New Zealand batsmen were not off to the greatest of starts as the Indian bowlers started brilliantly, applying pressure on the New Zealand top-order.

Jasprit Bumrah dismissed Martin Guptill early but Kane Williamson stabilized the innings with Ross Taylor. Williamson and Taylor put on a 65-run partnership until the former was sent back by Yuzvendra Chahal. The middle order failed to convert their starts as when rain interrupted play, New Zealand were on 211/5 fron 46.1 overs.

On the reserve day, New Zealand could add just 28 runs to their overnight total as India were set a total of 240. India got off to a horrible start, losing the first three wickets for just five runs. From there on, India were in the chase until consistent breakthroughs for New Zealand derailed India’s chase.

Ravindra Jadeja’s counter-attacking knock of a 59-ball 77 gave hope to the two-time world champions. Eventually, the task at hand was too huge, as New Zealand’s bowling attack, led by Matt Henry’s 3/37 restricted India to 221.

Here are three reasons why India lost this semifinal.

#3 Poor start from the top order

Matt Henry took three wickets

One of the most consistently performing top order batsmen in the tournament, the 240-run target seemed to be a comfortable task for the trio of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. All through the tournament, India’s batting was hugely dependent on the top 3 and with the three of them failing in this game, the middle order failed to stand up to the task.

The Kiwi pacers Trent Boult and Matt Henry seemed to appear like men on a mission as they did not give any respite to the Indian batsmen. India lost their first three wickets with just five runs on the board, which left too much to do for an unsettled middle-order. India were never able to recover from this setback as they bowed out from the tournament.

Matt Henry’s 3/37 was the standout which earned him the player of the match award while Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner chipped in with a couple of wickets as well.

#2 Issue with the batting order

MS Dhoni might have come a little too

The worst nightmares of the Indian fans came true when India lost the first three wickets for just five runs. Virat Kohli’s men needed someone who could stabilize the innings against the swinging new ball. This is where the experience of MS Dhoni could have made the difference but the team management sent Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Pandya ahead of him.

If Dhoni had come earlier, he could have set the platform for batsmen like Hardik Pandya and Dinesh Karthik to finish the game. When Dhoni came to bat, India were 71/5 and did not have much batting left. 

The century partnership between Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni gave India some hope but with no recognized batsman left it was always difficult for the two men to up the ante. Dhoni could not afford to lose his wicket and had to take his time at the crease which meant that the required run-rate kept increasing and India could not cross the line at the end.

#1 New Zealand’s grit and determination

A great day for New Zealand

After a great start to the tournament, New Zealand lost three matches in a row coming into the semifinals. The 2015 runners up managed to qualify for the semifinal only on the basis of the superior net run rate. Set to play against India in the semifinal, very few gave them a chance to reach the final.

Kane Williamson’s men were never short of belief as they seemed determined to beat the favourites. New Zealand’s score of 239 in the first innings seemed to be a bit below par but they delivered an incredible performance with the ball to stun India.

A combination of brilliant bowling and some superlative fielding helped them in putting India in a spot of bother. When Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni built a good partnership, New did not let their shoulders drop, and eventually won the match.

World Cup 2019: Twitter reacts as New Zealand …

MS Dhoni

India’s World Cup 2019 hopes came to a halt as a gritty show from New Zealand saw the Kane Williamson-led side register an 18-run win in the first semifinal that knocked the Men in Blue out of the tournament.

With this win, New Zealand won their second consecutive World Cup semi-final, having last won over South Africa in the 2015 edition. On the other hand, the coveted Indian batting lineup crumbled under pressure as they crashed out of the tournament in the semi-final stages for the second consecutive time.

Chasing a target of 240, India started off in the worst possible fashion with both Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli dismissed within the third over. Such was the domination of the New Zealand bowlers that India were staring down the barrel at 24-4, with the top 3 and Dinesh Karthik back in the pavillion.

With India in a spot of bother, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya built up a partnership, but the required number of runs was always a matter of concern. Post the dismissal of both Pant and Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja embarked on a mission to get across the line and struck a fine half-century.

The all-rounder scored a 59-ball 77 with four sixes and four fours but was removed in the 48th over, Once he was gone, the onus was on MS Dhoni, but with the veteran run out in the penultimate over, India failed to chase down the target.

New Zealand, having opted to bat first found it difficult to score runs on the troublesome Manchester pitch. Kane Williamson’s steady 67 and Ross Taylor’s gritty 74 helped New Zealand reach a respectable total of 239-8 from 50 overs.

For India, pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah did a fine job. The former picked up three wickets and the latter kept a check on the flow of runs. However, in the end, the New Zealand bowlers stole the show, with Matt Henry’s game-changing figures of 3/37 from 10 overs earning him the ‘man of the match’ award.

Here are some of the best tweets at the end of the game –

World Cup 2019, Match 47, India vs Sri Lanka M…

Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga

India will take on Sri Lanka in both the teams’ last match of the league stage at Headingley, Leeds on 6th June 2019. The Indian team will be keen to claim a win against Sri Lanka, with the victory and a South Africa win against Australia certain to see India finish on top of the points table.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka would just be playing for pride as they are out of the race for the semifinals. After suffering their first defeat of the campaign vs England, the Indian team managed to put their campaign back on track by beating Bangladesh. The Men in blue would want to continue this winning run ahead of the important knockout matches.

Considering their form before the tournament, very few gave Sri Lanka a chance of qualifying for the semifinals. The Island nation impressed everyone with their spirited performances but it was not enough to qualify for the knockout stage. They would want to end their tournament on a high by beating Virat Kohli’s men.

Players under the spotlight


Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma has been in fantastic form throughout the tournament as he is the top-scorer for India. The ‘Hitman’ has scored four centuries in the tournament, emerging as one of the candidates to win the man of the tournament award. Rohit has two double centuries against Sri Lanka in ODIs and will be keen to end the group stages with a solid knock.

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah’s stats in the World Cup do not tell the full story about his performances. The right-arm fast bowler has played a pivotal part in the India’s success in this World Cup. The Sri Lankan batsmen must come with a plan to tackle Bumrah, else, it would be impossible to tackle him.

Sri Lanka

Avishka Fernando

Avishka Fernando is one of the biggest finds of the tournament, as the Sri Lankan youngster has impressed everyone with his stroke play. The right-hander had to wait until the sixth match to get an opportunity but he has not looked back since then. Fernando has 183 runs from three matches at an average of 61 and will be key against India’s solid bowling unit.

Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga might have lost a slight amount of pace due to his age, but the legendary fast bowler has used his experience to torment batsmen throughout the World Cup. If Malinga makes inroads into the Indian top-order, it could put pressure on India’s unsettled middle order.

Who will win the match?

Virat Kohli’s Indian team will surely go into the match as heavy favourites as the Indian top order is in fine form and could be expected to thwart the challenge posed by the relatively inexperienced bowling unit of Sri Lanka.

Additionally, Sri Lanka’s batting unit has worn a cloak of inconsistency and with the Men in Blue boasting of a world-class bowling unit, Sri Lanka’s batsmen could well be put under a stern test.