Dharamsala: After putting up a inspiring show with the bat in the last Test, the Sri Lankans would hope to emulate that same spirit when they take on India in the first of the three-match ODI series beginning on December 10.
Barring the Nagpur test match, the visitors have shown a lot of fight. In the Kolkata test match, they began on a positive note but India came back and almost won the game, but their patience and determination came to the fore with the bat during their first innings at the Kotla.
Both skipper Dinesh Chandimal and former captain Angelo Mathews scored tons and put up a brave show. But ODIs are a different ball game altogether.
In the 50-over format, the performance of the Lankans haven’t been very convincing of late. Adding to the whitewashes, they have been able to make it to the World Cup due to the failure of the West Indies. Hence, this series would be of high importance to them if the 2011 World Cup runners-up are to find their mojo in this format.
Thus, with a new skipper in the form of Thisara Perera, the islanders would hope for a new beginning to their rebuilding phase and give their best in the series to make an impact.
On the other hand, it is a great chance for someone like Rohit Sharma to impress with his leadership skills as well. With skipper Virat Kohli rested ahead of the gruelling South Africa tour early next year, the number three spot in the batting order is likely to have a lot of contenders in the form of Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik and Shreyas Iyer.
The Indian bowling has been in good form of late and hence, this series would just be one of those preparatory ones before a challenging tour like that of South Africa.