In Stats: India Eye World Number 1 Rank in ODI Series vs Sri Lanka
On Sunday, when India and Sri Lanka come up against each other in the first ODI at Dharamsala, there will be reason to open a new page in the book which documents the history of the two cricket teams.
India will have a new captain in Rohit Sharma, while Sri Lanka will be led for the first time by Thisara Perera. The 30-year old Rohit will be the 24th player bestowed with the honour of captaining the Indian team in ODIs, while the 28-year old Perera will be the 22nd individual having the honour of leading Sri Lanka in ODIs.
Sunday’s ODI will be a rare occurrence of two players leading their respective teams for the first time in the same ODI. The last time this happened was on 13 October 2011 when Mushfiqur Rahim and Denesh Ramdin captained their respective teams – Bangladesh and West Indies – for the first time in the same ODI.
Other than captaining the Mumbai Indians in the IPL and in the now defunct Champions League T20, Rohit Sharma has very little experience as captain. However, Rohit has had a lot of success captaining MI. He has led them to three IPL titles and one CLT20 title in the five years he has been at the helm of the team.
In recent times, Rohit Sharma has been named the official vice-captain and acted as second in command to Virat Kohli – particularly in the limited-overs formats. With Virat Kohli taking a break and giving this series a miss, this opportunity to captain Team India has landed in Rohit Sharma’s hands.
On paper, and if one were to go by what history indicates, the two teams are a mismatch. India are a clean-sweep away from regaining the number one position in the ICC ODI rankings, while Sri Lanka are currently ranked eighth in the world. Historically, India have generally had the wood over Sri Lanka.
Recent history suggests that a match between India and Sri Lanka would be a no contest really. And Rohit Sharma has a team who can extend India’s stretch of 13 consecutive wins in bilateral matches against Sri Lanka.
Will India be able to extend their domination over Sri Lanka? Or will the visitors, who put up a resilient show in the fourth innings of the third Test, be able to give a good account of themselves? Follow updates from the match on our live blog here. The match begins at 11: 30 am IST.
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