Cricket World Cup: Sri Lanka vs India
Venue: Headingley Carnegie, Leeds
Date: Saturday, 6 July 2019
Sri Lanka – 4.50
India – 0.16
India and Sri Lanka meet in the penultimate match of the 2019 Cricket World Cup group stage on Saturday. It is a strange game in some ways, with Sri Lanka guaranteed to finish sixth and out of the semi-final places regardless of the result, while India will need to win and then wait on the result of the Australia vs South Africa game later on Saturday before they know who their semi-final opponents will be.
India would love to find a way to avoid England in the semi-final here, but the only series of results that would see that happen is by beating Sri Lanka and then watching South Africa beat the more fancied Australians. With that in mind, the best bet for India is to treat this game like it is a semi-final and see if they can work out some of the kinks that have hurt their lineup as the tournament has progressed.
Sri Lanka kept this Cricket World Cup interesting with the upset of England, but a heavy defeat the next time out at the hands of South Africa basically shows in a snapshot how up and down their tournament has been. They are a team that never seems to be able to string back to back performances together, but they are still a team capable of upsetting India here.
You can argue that Sri Lanka have already overachieved by finishing ahead of the likes of South Africa and West Indies in this competition. With that in mind, expect Dimuth Karunartne and his team to come out and enjoy what is looking to be a slightly overcast Yorkshire afternoon in Leeds.
There is no pressure on Sri Lanka here, which could make them dangerous against an Indian side that has qualified for the semi-finals with ease, but which no one seems all that confident in.
India need to decide on their bowling strategy for the semi-final and employ it here, meaning their needs to be a decision made on their make up of spin vs. seam. It would also be nice to see their lower order pick up some runs as there are questions being asked about the ability of their batsmen to score when you get through the middle of the order.
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India Top Batsman – Rohit Sharma 2.20
Sharma has both the form in the moment and the form against this opponent to suggest he is a good play to be the top Indian batsman here. He went for 208 not out against Sri Lanka in a recent meeting between the two countries and he is coming off of a game against Bangladesh on Tuesday where he smashed another century. The opener is in good form and is good value here.
Sri Lanka Top Batsman – Avishka Fernando 4.00
Fernando has been hailed as one of the future stars of the one day game after the 21-year-old sensation burst onto the scene at this World Cup. He has made 183 runs at a strike rate of 107 and he smashed Sri Lanka’s first ODI hundred since January last time out against West Indies. Confidence is everything and Fernando will go after the Indian bowlers when he has the strike.
While Sri Lanka finally batted well last time out against West Indies it is hard to pick against India here. India has won 12 of its last 14 ODI matches against its neighbour, with many of those matches not being particularly close. Sri Lanka have had a great tournament, but they will go home with one last defeat in Leeds as India move through to the semi-final stage with a little momentum.
India at 0.16 is the pick on BetXChange.