India vs Sri Lanka in the ODI World Cup 2023, is scheduled to take place on Thursday, at the Wankhede Stadium, in Mumbai. The teams will face after 12 years at this iconic venue. The last time they met was in the year 2011 in the final of the ODI World Cup when the Men in Blue won the World Cup after 28 years at this ground.
Rohit Sharma's side is currently the only unbeaten side in the mega event as they have won all their six matches so far with the latest one coming against the defending champions England. Sri Lanka was shocked by Afghanistan as they beat them by seven wickets in their last match.
The latest meeting of these two sides was in the final of the Asia Cup 2023 final. India again defeated the Islanders, as the batters looked helpless against the fiery spell of Mohammed Siraj. The star pacer picked four wickets in a single over and achieved a career-best of 6/21 runs. With the courtesy of his spell, the 1996 world champions were bundled out for just 50 runs. Ahead of the match let us take a look at the players who can change the game with their impact.
Here are the top 5 players to watch out for in India vs. Sri Lanka clash
5. Sadeera Samarawickrama
Sadeera Samarawickrama has been in decent form in the ODI World Cup 2023. The batter has been in good form in the ongoing year. The wicket-keeper batter is the team’s leading run-getter in the competition, with 331 runs in six innings, with an average of 82.75. He has scored a hundred in the mega event as well against Pakistan and has two half-centuries to his name.
He has played 22 matches in the 2023 year and has scored 808 runs with a brilliant average of 50.50. The 28-year-old batter has been one of the key members of Sri Lanka's middle order. He has played some crucial knocks for the Islander. He can be a player to watch out for against India.
4. Kusal Mendis
Kusal Mendis has been the most important member of the Islanders. He has been a crucial player who has displayed some crucial innings for the side. The batter has scored 268 runs in six innings for the 1996 world champions. After being appointed as the captain in the middle of the tournament as their regular Dasun Shanaka was ruled out, the performance has gone down a bit.
But the batter has played a blistering knock of 122 runs in just 77 deliveries against Pakistan. The wicket-keeper batter was explosive as he struck 14 fours and six sixes at a strike of 158.44. That century went in vain as Pakistan chased down the target of 344 runs against them.
3. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has been in great form in 2023. The former India skipper is the second-highest run-scorer in the World Cup for the Men in Blue. So far he has scored one century in the mega event but has been outstanding in the run chases. He played two crucial knocks against Australia and New Zealand respectively to seal India through to the target.
Kohli has scored 354 runs in just six innings at an average of 88.50. The batter is just one century away from tying the long-held record of the great Sachin Tendulkar who has scored 49 ODI centuries. The batter has a good average playing the Wankhede and can be a player to watch out for.
2. Mohammed Shami
Shami has been outstanding since his return to the side. The bowler was not given the chance as Siraj was the obvious choice and India wanted a bowler who could bat at the lower order as well. But after Hardik Pandya got injured, the pacer never looked back from the game against New Zealand as he bowled brilliantly against the Kiwis and picked up a fifer against them.
In the game against England, where India was defending a low total of 229 runs. Shami's fiery spell let the English batters helpless as he again picked four wickets for just 22 runs in his seven overs. In the first spell, he outclassed the batters with his seam and swing at the Ekana Stadium, Lucknow. He would be one player to look out for as the pitch of Wankhede allows good bounce and seam early on in the innings.
1. Rohit Sharma
The Team India skipper has led his team by example in the World Cup 2023. Rohit is the highest run scorer for his side. The 36-year-old batter has scored 398 runs for the Men in Blue. Rohit is the batter with the most hundreds in the ODI World Cup history with seven beside his name and he broke the record Chris Gayle for most international sixes as well, has hit 564 sixes.
Rohit played a crucial knock of 87 runs against England in a tricky wicket of Lucknow. He played a captain's knock and led his team brilliantly against the defending champions.