Indian vs Sri Lanka 5th ODI: Preview

India have already sealed the ODI series against Sri Lanka with an invincible 3-1 lead from the first four matches and will be a bit relaxed going into the final ODI which will be played at Pallekele on August 4. It was a very important series for the Indians as they were coming off a long break and also that the past few series hadn’t gone well for them. So a series win will give MS Dhoni’s men a lot of confidence for the upcoming tournaments.

Sri Lanka will be disappointed with the way they have played against the visitors. They were outplayed in three of the four matches and they have themselves to blame for their dismal performance. The home team, which is known for their good fielding, dropped easy chances at crucial times in both the previous matches and that proved fatal for them.

Saturday’s match will be important as a win will take India to a joint number one position in the ICC one-day rankings. Sri Lanka will also be looking to end the series on a positive note and will be looking to take some winning form into the lone T20 match between the two sides.

The match gives India the opportunity to try few players who have been warming the bench. Ajinkya Rahane should get a look-in in place of struggling Rohit Sharma. Yes, Rahane is an opener but both Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag will be reluctant to take some rest so early in the season.

It is time that MS Dhoni drops Rohit Sharma from the team. Rohit Sharma has got plenty of opportunities and India should look further from a player who has massive potential but fails to deliver whenever the team requires him.

Zaheer Khan is most likely to be rested from the team as the senior-pro has done his job and India will like to save him for the more important series to come. Umesh Yadav, who was expensive in the first two games, might get a third chance. Umesh is very important for Indian cause for the coming Test series and Dhoni will try to give him opportunities to get back into the wicket-taking form

The home team has to do some changes in their bowling line-up. Their medium-pacers have been pretty in-effective and Herath hasn’t also made any influence in the series. The problem for Sri Lanka has been that their top-order has struggled to get them off to a good start. In the last match their openers got them close to the hundred run-mark but they consumed a lot of overs doing that.

Sri Lanka do need a total in excess of 300 if they want to win against a strong Indian batting unit and for that they need to play attacking cricket upfront. They can’t always leave things for their late middle-order to finish. Colombo proved bad for the home team as they lost both their matches there and they will be hoping that the change in venue could bring some change in luck for them.    

By Indian Sports News Network