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Sunil Gavaskar predicts easy outing for India in ODI series against Sri Lanka

Gavaskar expects a much-improved performance from the Sri Lankan batsmen but still feels the Indian side will be too strong for the hosts.


Gavaskar called for Manish Pandey's inclusion in the playing eleven during the 5-match ODI series
Gavaskar called for Manish Pandey's inclusion in the playing eleven during the 5-match ODI series


What's the story?

Sunil Gavaskar expects India's dominance over Sri Lanka in the Test format to continue in the ODI series as well and predicted Virat Kohli's side to emerge victorious 4-1 in the 5-match series.

Though the former Indian skipper reckons that the white ball will help the Sri Lankan batsmen find some much-needed confidence, he expects the hosts to struggle against an Indian side which is high on confidence following the 3-0 whitewash in the Test series.

"My prediction is (that) it will be 4-1 in favour of India," Gavaskar said. "White ball will be easier for the Sri Lankan batsmen, (but) their bowling looks a little bit weak.".

Gavaskar also pushed for Manish Pandey's inclusion in the side following his return from injury and wants the Indian team management to give him more opportunities to improve.

"Manish Pandey deserves a place in the side. He is an outstanding fielder. Pandey can only get better," Gavaskar said.

The background

India barely broke a sweat against the hosts in the 3-match Test series as they continued their dominance in the longest format of the game cementing their status at the top of the table in the ICC rankings.

While the visitors won the opening Test at Galle by 304 runs, the margin was much wider in the remaining two matches with India winning by an innings and 53 runs in Colombo and by an innings and 171 runs at Pallekele.

Extra Cover: Sri Lanka vs India 2017: 5 Indian players to watch out for in the ODI series

The heart of the matter

Despite Sri Lanka's struggles in the Test series with the bat, Gavaskar expects the hosts to put in a much-improved showing in the 50-over format.

The 68-year-old backed Upal Tharanga to lead from the front for Sri Lanka and also expects the likes of Dinesh Chandimal and Kusal Mendis to chip in with some big scores.

However, he is worried about the Sri Lankan bowling attack and expects the Indian side to overpower the hosts easily in the 5-match series.

With the BCCI focussing on the future with their selections for the ODI and T20 series, Gavaskar is hopeful that Manish Pandey is given the opportunity to excel after being sidelined with injury for the past few months.

Extra Cover: Fit-again Manish Pandey eager to 'make a mark'

What's next?

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.

The lone T20I will also be played at Colombo on September 6.

Author's take

With Sri Lanka's continued struggle in all formats of the game, it is no surprise that Gavaskar expects India to have it easy in the ODI series as well.

The Virat Kohli-led side are in rampant form at the moment and despite Sri Lanka's unexpected success at the 2017 Champions Trophy in the previous ODI meeting between the two sides, the series looks to be a one-sided one in favour of the visitors.

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