Sri Lanka can rise to the occasion

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By 2017-12-10

After an eventful Test series that ended on a competitive note, Sri Lanka now prepare to take on India in the 50-over leg of their ongoing tour, with the first fixture of the three-match series taking place in the cool climes of Dharamsala on Sunday.

The Tests saw Sri Lanka produce the kind of fight that was missing in their home series against the same opposition earlier this year, in which they were thoroughly routed in each game.

However, the Lankans still have some distance to cover as far as the shorter formats are concerned. So desperate have they been in their search for consistency in limited overs, that one could almost consider their seven-wicket win over India in the Champions Trophy in June as their brightest moment this year. Since then, they have suffered an ODI series loss to Zimbabwe, and lost every game in the home series against India, as well as during the tour of UAE. Add the absence of Dinesh Chandimal, who was the highest run-getter in the Test series after the magnificent Virat Kohli and veteran pacer Lasith Malinga, and the islanders already find themselves in a state of quandary. Not that Malinga has been in the best of form of late, but his presence helps give a sense of leadership to the bowling attack.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul.

Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera (c), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Chathuranga de Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Dushmantha Chameera, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep.

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