India will look to strengthen their position with a win over Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday. Group B of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 got a lot tighter with Pakistan beating South Africa, and India will not want to get pulled into the scrap for a place in the semifinals. So beating Sri Lanka will be essential.
The ingredients and confidence is certainly there to do that, after Virat Kohli's side toppled Pakistan without any problems, and India will look to put on a similar performance against Sri Lanka.
SL need a win to have a realistic chance of making it to the semifinals of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, after they were properly beaten by South Africa in their last game.
Here is a look at how the India vs Sri Lanka CT 2017 game might go.
If India bat first:
Rohit Sharma looks a lot more fluent this time with that fighting 91 in his bag, and with Shikhar Dhawan carrying on his form from the Pakistan match, India make a solid start, getting to 52 runs in the first ten overs of Powerplay 1.
They keep that partnership going for another ten overs, as the openers build a nice platform for the rest of the India batsmen.
Virat Kohli walks in with the score on 110/1 in 19.4 overs, and the captain keep the momentum going in the innings with Dhawan. After 36 runs together, Dhawan falls to Lasith Malinga, and while Yuvraj Singh also falls quickly, India keep scoring at a good run rate.
Kohli is the man who takes over and with MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav making a couple of cameos, India are able to reach 329.
Sri Lanka struggle to get going in the chase from the beginning, a chase that is delayed by rain. Niroshan Dickwella hits a couple of boundaries early and is then dismissed, while Danushka Gunathilaka, his opening partner, is also unable to do much.
Angelo Mathews and Dinesh Chandimal, after the fall of Kusal Mendis as well, are able to stop the wicket-train with a half-century partnership – the partnership takes place in between a long rain delay, which brings the target down – but that is just delaying the inevitable, as India eventually break through to complete a satisfying win.
If Sri Lanka bat first:
Dickwella and Gunathilaka add 34 quick runs together, before the latter falls. Dickwella continues to score quickly, before Jasprit Bumrah puts an end to his stay at the crease.
Kusal Mendis is another Sri Lankan player to make a sweet but short innings, with Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Mathews then steadying the SL ship.
The two experienced players put on 123 runs together, allowing Kusal Perera to go slam-bang towards the end.
Chasing 284, India do not get off to a great start, as they lose both their openers – Rohit and Dhawan – within the first four overs.
That is when rain disrupts play as well, leaving Kohli and the rest of the India batsmen with plenty to think about.
When play resumes, Kohli and Yuvraj get India back on course slowly but surely, and while Yuvraj falls after making 43, Kohli continues on. He finds the perfect foil in Dhoni, and these two bring all their experience to the fore to take India to a second win in the Champions Trophy.