Reigning Asia Cup Champions Sri Lanka begin 2023 with a multi-format series tour of India that includes 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs.
The tour kicks-off with the T20Is on January 3rd while the ODIs begin on January 10th. The series will witness 6 different venues for the 6 games – T20Is in Mumbai (January 3), Pune (January 5) and Rajkot (January 7), and the ODIs in Guwahati (January 10), Kolkata (January 12) and Thiruvananthapuram (January 15).
Sri Lanka tour with a 20-man squad that sees Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Nuwan Thushara play only the T20Is, while Jeffrey Vandersay and Nuwanidu Fernando (debut) feature in just the ODI leg of the series. Dasun Shanaka captains both sides, with Wanindu Hasaranga and Kusal Mendis deputising in the T20Is and ODIs respectively.
Avishka Fernando makes a comeback after being side-lined due to injury since last appearing in February 2022 against Australia. The 24-year old top order batter recently had a stellar campaign in the recently concluded Lanka Premier League (LPL), top scoring in the tournament that included a man-of-the-match performance in the final. Sadeera Samarawickrama, who finished as the second highest run-getter in the tournament to win the man of the tournament award, also makes the squad.
Surprisingly, Dinesh Chandimal, the third-highest run-scorer in the LPL (31.88 average at a strike rate of 126.99) and a key to Colombo Stars’ run to the final, has been excluded from both squads. Dhananjaya Lakshan and Asitha Fernando, both part of the team that recently hosted an ODI series against Afghanistan have been dropped as well. That series ended in a 1-1 tie. Afghanistan won the 1st ODI by 60 runs and Sri Lanka the 3rd by 4 wickets. The 2nd ODI was washed out.
For India, Hardik Pandya will lead in the T20Is with Suryakumar Yadav making his debut as deputy, while Rohit Sharma returns as captain for the three ODIs following his early exit from the Bangladesh tour that India ended up losing 1-2.
After fetching big money at the IPL 2023 auction recently, Shivam Mavi and Mukesh Kumar earned maiden T20I call-ups while Arshdeep Singh makes a comeback of sorts to the ODI squad. Singh made his debut on the recent tour of New Zealand (0 wickets in 2 matches) but was dropped to the tour of Bangladesh that soon followed.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are not part of the T20I squad while Shikhar Dhawan has been dropped from the ODIs after a poor run in Bangladesh (18 runs in three innings at a strike rate of 51.42).
Rishabh Pant had not originally been included in either the ODI or the T20I squads after he was given a break from the ODI series in Bangladesh. His recent car crash could put further doubts on his participation in the upcoming New Zealand and Australia tours of India as well.
Sri Lanka: 8
No result: 1
Sri Lanka: 57
No result: 11
India and Sri Lanka last faced each other in the 2022 Asia Cup where Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets in the super 12 round. India subsequently failed to make the final which Sri Lanka went on to win after defeating Pakistan.
India: Hardik Pandya (C), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (Vice-Captain), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama. Kusal Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga (Vice Captain), Ashen Bandara, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Thushara
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (Vice-Captain), Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh
Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama. Kusal Mendis (Vice-Captain), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, Maheesh Theekshana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha, Nuwanidu Fernando, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Lahiru Kumara
1st T20I – January 3rd, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
2nd T20I – January 5th, Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
3rd T20I – Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot
1st ODI – January 10th, Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati
2nd ODI – January 12th, Eden Gardens, Kolkata
3rd ODI – January 15th, Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram
Closer to the games, we will be announcing our Fantasy Picks. Stay tuned!