Sri Lanka, after a thumping win against West Indies in the Test series, will set their sights in the three-match ODI series, which starts on Sunday at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Despite a fantastic Test series win, Sri Lanka cannot afford to take the visitors lightly as it is a completely different format.
However, West Indies need to come up with an improved performance if they are to have any chance of winning the ODI series. The visitors are going to pin their hopes on their spinner, Sunil Narine, who is making a comeback to international cricket as he had to remodel his action after being reported for suspect action.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder is happy with Narine in the team as the captain can throw him the ball with the hope of taking crucial wickets.
"We have Sunil Narine now, which makes me more comfortable. He's a wicket-taking option whenever he comes into bowl. Hopefully he can take some wickets in the middle and maybe his pressure could create other wickets around for the guys he's bowling in partnership with," ESPN Cricinfo quoted Holder as saying.
West Indies does not have much experience in their team, which makes it a huge task against Sri Lanka, who are dangerous at home. With spinners such as Ajantha Mendis and Sachithra Senanayake in their line up, they can run through the West Indies batting line up if the pitch provides them assistance.
Hence the experienced batsmen of West Indies such as Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Angelo Russell need to shoulder the responsibility.
West Indies, who are set to miss the ICC champions trophy in 2017, will need to prove that they are still a force in ODI cricket by coming up with quality cricket against Sri Lanka. West Indies will be playing their first ODI series after losing to New Zealand in the quarter final of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. Prior to the world cup, they were outplayed by South Africa in the ODI series, as they lost 4-1.
Sri Lanka have also not been in an impressive form in the ODI series during the year. They have played two ODI series in 2015 against Pakistan and New Zealand and lost both the series.
With such a record in coloured uniform, both the teams will be eager to outdo one another in the ODI series, which makes matters even more interesting. Holder believes his team is well prepared for the series.
"I would say the guys are well prepared. We also got a good net session under the lights, so the guys got a feel for the backdrop of the Premadasa Stadium. It's very important that we start the series well because it's a short series, and we'd like to build some confidence going into the T20 series as well," said Holder.
Though Sri Lanka might have been performing well enough in the ODIs this year, they will head into the series as favourites with the number of quality players in their team. The batting skills of Lahiru Thirimanne, Tilakratne Dilshan and Angelo Mathews will be crucial for Sri Lanka while Lasith Malinga will be their biggest weapon in the bowling department.
Where to watch live
The Sri Lanka vs West Indies 1st ODI has been scheduled for 2:30pm local time (2:30pm IST, 10am BST, 4am ET ) start with live TV coverage in India on Ten Action with live streaming on tensports.com.
Viewers in the UK can watch the Sri Lanka vs West Indies 1st ODI live on British Eurosport 2 with live streaming on Eurosport Player.
US viewers can watch the Sri Lanka vs West Indies 1st ODI live on Willow Tv, live streaming on Willow TV Online.