Sourav Ganguly expecting Indian triumph against both Sri Lanka and Australia in ODIs
What's the story?
Former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly expects the Indian ODI side to carry forward their good run in the Test format to the 50-over format as well and believes that Virat Kohli's men can triumph over both their immediate opponents in Sri Lanka and Australia.
While the 5-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka begins at Dambulla on Sunday, the Men in Blue will return to India and take on Australia in 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is next month.
Ganguly believes that Australia will find it hard to defeat India in their own backyard, especially with fast bowler Mitchell Starc set to miss out due to injury.
"It won't be easy to beat India in India," Ganguly said.
Talking about the ODI series against Sri Lanka, Ganguly said that he won't be too surprised to see India repeat their whitewash in the Test series against the island nation in the ODI format as well.
"Very likely," the 45-year-old said when asked about India's chances of producing yet another clean sweep. "India can hand another drubbing to Sri Lanka."
In case you didn't know...
While India was always expected to triumph in the Test series over Sri Lanka, the one-sided nature of the contest was something very few saw coming.
India defeated the hosts by 304 runs in the opening Test at Galle while they won the second Test at Colombo by an innings and 53 runs.
The visitors piled on the misery for Sri Lanka with a resounding win by an innings and 171 runs at Pallekele in the third and final Test, thereby completing a 3-0 whitewash.
The heart of the matter
Sri Lanka's abysmal showing in the Test series has seen many of the pundits putting their money on a comfortable win for the visitors with former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar predicting a 4-1 outcome in favour of Virat Kohli's side.
Ganguly, however, feels that they can go on one better and win all the matches as was the case in the Test series.
He also expects India to triumph back home against the Aussies but admitted that it will be a much more even contest between the two sides than has been the case in Sri Lanka.
Eden Gardens in Kolkata will be one of the five venues for the ODI series between India and Australia with the sides taking on each other on September 21. Ganguly will be having a close on eye on this one with his post as president of the Cricket Association of Bengal.
The five-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka begins at Dambulla on August 20 before the action moves to Pallekele and then Colombo with the final match being played on September 3.
India's tour of Sri Lanka will conclude with the lone T20I which will also be played at Colombo on September 6.
With the Indian side in rampant form in all three formats of the game, it would take a brave man to bet against Virat Kohli's side triumphing against Sri Lanka in the ODI format, especially after the drubbing handed out in the Test series.
The series against Australia could be a much tougher proposition, but as Ganguly pointed out, Mitchell Starc's absence could be a big factor with the Australian bowling attack not the most effective one without the left-arm fast bowler.