London, June 7: A confident India will look to booking a semi-fil berth with a win against Sri Lanka, who will be boosted by the return of captain Angelo Mathews, but rain may mar the ICC Champions Trophy Group B encounter at The Oval here on Thursday.
India’s confidence must be sky high having registered a massive 124-run win over arch-foes Pakistan and the win has kind of set the tempo for the rest of the tourment.
Sri Lanka have to considerably improvise on their batting after being all out at 203 runs against South Africa, allowing the Proteas a 96-run victory.
India will look to demolishing the opponents with their formidable batting line-up with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Hardik Pandya who made their mark with the bat in the opening game against Pakistan.
The spin and pace bowling combition for India has only helped them become a lethal all-round side though fielding has been a matter of concern — as pointed out by skipper Kohli — and which the team will look to overcome against the Lankans. India boast an array of seamers — Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik — who can be lethal in these helpful English conditions.
For Sri Lanka, experienced all-rounder Mathews has been declared fit to play against India and that will be a substantial boost for the islanders after having missed the opening game due to multiple injuries.
Sri Lanka will heavily depend upon their front-line pacer Lasith Malinga to provide them with important breaks. The bowling department for the Lankans has been quite economical in the opening game against South Africa but they failed to take wickets at regular interval, which will be a matter of concern for them. The likes of Asela Guratne, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal and Sekkuge Prasan are not proven performers.
Lankans will miss the services of their stand-in captain Upul Tharanga after ICC Match Referee David Boon imposed a two-match suspension on the batsman for slow-over rate. That will be a big blow as the Lankans have an under-strength batting line-up.
Rain has played spoilsport in most of the matches during this Champion Trophy. The London weather on Thursday too will look to dampen the match with forecasts of 40 per cent chance of heavy rainfall.
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (Captain), Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickewalla (wicket-keeper), Chamara Kapugedara, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Sekkuge Prasan, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Asela Guratne, Nuwan Kulasekara, Upul Tharanga. (IANS)