The big picture: two teams with contrasting fortunes
India has lived up to its claim of being a strong contender before the tournament. Despite the absence of Shubman Gill in the first two matches and Hardik Pandya in the last two matches, they have won all their six matches so far. If they defeat Sri Lanka on Thursday, they will become the first team to reach the semi-finals.
The Sri Lankan team, which made it to this World Cup through the qualifier route, is struggling to survive. They have only four points from six matches and are coming back from the defeat to Afghanistan. Another defeat will put them on the verge of elimination.
Sri Lanka have also lost several players to injuries, including their designated captain Dasun Shanaka. In his absence, Kusal Mendis took command but it seems to be affecting his batting. In the first two matches, when Shanaka was captain, Mendis scored 198 runs at a strike rate of 166.38. Since then, he has managed just 70 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 76.08.
Form guide: India’s winning streak
India WWWWW (last five ODIs, most recent first)
Sri Lanka LWWLL
In the spotlight: Shreyas Iyer and Angelo Mathews
Team News: Will Velez get a chance?
With Hardik unavailable, India are likely to field an unchanged XI.
India (Probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (captain), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), 6 Suryakumar Yadav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj
Sri Lanka may consider bringing in Dinuth Velalej in place of Dhananjay de Silva.
Sri Lanka (Probable): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Dimuth Karunaratne, 3 Kusal Mendis (captain, wk), 4 Sadira Samarawickrama, 5 Charith Asalanka, 6 Angelo Mathews, 7 Dinuth Velalej/Dhananjay de Silva, 8 Kasun Rajitha, 9 Mahish Theekshana, 10 Dilshan Madushanka, 11 Dushmantha Chameera
Pitch and conditions: Lots of runs
Statistics and Trivia: Kohli at the peak of records
- Virat Kohli (48) is one behind equaling Sachin Tendulkar’s record. Most ODI centuries,
- Kohli is on the verge of breaking another record of Tendulkar. Currently both are in a relationship 1000 ODI runs in a calendar year On most occasions (seven). Kohli needs only 34 runs to overtake Tendulkar this year.
- If Shreyas Iyer scores 65 runs in the next three innings then he will become 3rd fastest Indian Up to the mark.
- Mathews has dismissed Rohit Sharma seven times in ODI – more than any other bowler – including being out for a duck twice. Rohit against Mathews average 14.71 At a strike rate of 58.85.
- Sadira Samarawickrama is 54 runs away from 1000 ODI runs. If he gets there on Thursday, he will be Joint fastest Sri LankanWith Roy Dias (27 innings), to get there.
- Mahesh Theekshana is three wickets short of 50 ODI wickets.
“Thankfully we have some guys who are in form. I mean Kusal (Mendis) has played some great innings here, Sadira has been Mr. Consistent, like Pathum (Nisanka) at the top of the order.”
head coach chris silverwood On some of the things that are going right for Sri Lanka’s batting line-up
Hemant Brar is sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo