Having already sealed the series in Kolkata, team India will be eyeing their second ODI whitewash under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma as they take on Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka in the third and final ODI of the tour at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram. With the series not being a part of the ODI Super League, all the tourists have at stake is pride; they will be hoping to sign off on a high, having made such a promising start to the tour in the T20Is.
The hosts, meanwhile, will be aiming to build more confidence ahead of the three-match ODI series that lies in front of them next week, against the Tom Latham-led New Zealand side.
Sunday will witness the first ODI being played at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram since 2018. And if there’s anything we know about this venue, it’s that it is a bowler’s paradise.
The only ODI played at the venue four years ago, between India and West Indies, saw the Windies get bowled out for 104. More recently, India and South Africa locked horns in a T20I in September and in that contest, South Africa posted 106/8 off their 20 after being 9/5 at one stage. The chase was by no means easy for India, who took 100 balls to get to the target, with KL Rahul scoring an unbeaten fifty at less than run-a-ball.
The sample size in international games, of course, is pretty small, but the List A numbers at the venue also point towards Thiruvananthapuram being a tough wicket for the batters.
Since 2018, 201 has been the average first-innings score. In three of the last four List A matches at the venue, the team batting first was bowled out under 180.
Judging by the trend, then, it’ll be safe to say that we can expect a low-scoring encounter filled with plenty of joy for the bowlers, the quicks in particular.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Virat Kohli (capt), Mohammed Siraj (vice-capt)
For grand leagues: Mohammed Siraj (capt), Shubman Gill (vice-capt)
Stats that matter
Shubman Gill averages 80.75 in the third match of a series (ODI). Despite not getting to the three-figure mark, he’s looked in tremendous nick this series and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Sunday is the night he explodes.
Since the start of 2022 in ODIs, Mohammed Siraj has taken more powerplay wickets (19) than any other bowler in the world. He’s already accounted for three powerplay wickets this series and he could be primed to add to the tally on a Greenfield wicket that is expected to be spicy.
In his ODI career, there have been only two instances of Shreyas Iyer going 4 consecutive innings being dismissed under 50. His last three innings read 3, 28, 28 and everything suggests that he is due a big score.
Rohit Sharma has looked in fine nick this series, but it’s been nearly three years since his last ODI ton. Rohit has not scored a ton in his last 13 ODI innings and has managed to get past 60 just thrice.
Grand League punts
With the Greenfield wicket expected to assist seam, captaining Siraj may well be worth the gamble. In his last 7 ODIs, Siraj has taken 16 wickets and has picked at least 2 or more wickets on six separate occasions.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya / Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Umran Malik, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh
Sri Lanka: Nuwanidu Fernando, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha