New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that India will tour Sri Lanka in July for a limited overs bilateral series. But big names such as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will not be a part of a touring side as they would be in England for a Test series.
“We have planned a white ball series for the senior men's team during the month of July where they will play T20 Internationals and ODIs in Sri Lanka,” BCCI President Ganguly said in an interaction with PTI.
Indian team will play 5 T20I and 3 ODIs during the white-ball tour. India’s tour will end on September 14. BCCI President Ganguly said that the team will consist of white-ball specialists and it will be a different team.
The announcement has made the fans excited as the India-Sri Lanka rivalry dates back to 1979 in limited-overs cricket. It is always a gripping contest whenever both these teams meet. And the players of Emerald Island enjoy good fan following in India as well.
Incidentally, the Sri Lankan team become a numero uno team when the ODI World Cup was played in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 1996. The memories of that tournament is still fresh. Sri Lanka, under the leadership of Arjuna Ranatunga, had lifted the world cup for the first time.
The resurgence of the team was driven by an explosive opening pair of Romesh Kaluwitharana and Sanath Jayasuriya. The team’s batting line up was heavily loaded. The semi-final of the tournament was played between India and Sri Lanka.
That match turned out to be a very sad affair for fans in India as the Indian batting line up had collapsed in quick succession. It had triggered a huge anger among fans at the Eden Gardens. The match wasn’t completed and the referee had announced Sri Lanka as winner.
There are many other memories of India and Sri Lanka games. The battle of supremacy for better batsman between our very own Sachin Tendulkar and Arvinda de Silva lingered quite long. On the other hand, Sanath Jayasuriya went on to score prolifically during those times.
All the memories came back with the announcement of the series. We can also expect another gripping contest this time around as well. However, there has been quite a slump in the performance of Sri Lanka after the retirement of their many greats such as Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tilakratne Dilshan and many others. Today’s Sri Lankan team is less intimidating as per their performance.
As we are soon going to see the games between India and Sri Lanka, here is the SWOT analysis for India in the upcoming series:
STRENGTH: Indian team has enjoyed a lot of success in limited overs cricket in recent times. Also, they have done fairly well against the Sri Lankan team. Over the years in ODIs, out of the 78 ODI series played between the sides, India have won 32 series and Sri Lanka have won 16 ODI series. On the other hand, there has been complete domination by India against Sri Lanka in T20Is. Out of the 15 series played between the sides, India have won 9 and Sri Lanka have won just 1.
WEAKNESS: Indian team would be touring Sri Lanka without the big names such as Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Many other important players, who will be in Test squad for a series against England, would also be missing this time. Sri Lanka might be having home advantage.
OPPORTUNITY: Sri Lankan squad is just a shadow of their great past. Their many prominent players have retired from the game and the new players have not been able to match their past performances.
THREAT: Sri Lanka would be having a home advantage. They play really well and their players are in their best of elements when they play at home. Historically they have played in the Emerald Island. Sri Lanka spinners also do well in home conditions.