Aakash Chopra feels India might outplay Sri Lanka in the upcoming ODI series based on their batting strength.
The Men in Blue will lock horns with the Lankan Lions in three ODIs, with the first game to be played in Guwahati on Tuesday, January 10. The likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer are back in the mix after missing the preceding T20I series against the same opponents.
While previewing the first ODI in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra sounded a warning note for the visitors, saying:
"Sri Lanka will have to compete a little more in ODIs because the bigger the format, the gulf between the two teams keeps increasing. So that's a bit of a problem that Sri Lanka will face because India's batting might has the ability to drown the opposition, although we are coming after losing the series in Bangladesh."
Chopra reckons the senior players might be smarting from the ODI series loss to Bangladesh and would want to deliver up to expectations, observing:
"They were closely contested games but we lost for sure. There will be expectations here because the senior players will be back and available. They are ahead in the pecking order and will thus get an opportunity to play and we will get to see the batting might slightly."
India suffered a 2-1 defeat against Bangladesh in their last ODI series. Their batters struggled in the first two games in Mirpur before Ishan Kishan's explosive double century and Kohli's supporting ton helped the visitors register a consolation win in Chattogram.
"Sri Lanka will also have difficulty in selection" - Aakash Chopra
However, Chopra acknowledged that Dasun Shanaka and Co. could spring a surprise, stating:
"Sri Lanka will also have difficulty in selection. Their XI will also not be made easily. They are a decent team. They showed in T20Is as well that their team is not bad."
Chopra expects the first ODI to be a high-scoring affair, elaborating:
"The Guwahati pitch generally helps the fast bowlers in the evening games but 200-odd runs were scored when the last T20I was played there against South Africa. I remember that 300-odd runs were scored in an ODI as well. So I feel it will be a 300-325 pitch and bowlers will be hit decently. May the best team win and the best team is Team India."
The Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati has hosted a solitary ODI thus far. The Men in Blue chased down a 323-run target in just 42.1 overs against the West Indies on the back of Rohit (152* off 117) and Kohli's (140 off 107) second-wicket partnership of 246 runs.
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