India are all set to start the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka at a time when they should have been playing three Tests against West Indies. That would have been good preparation for India before leaving for the Test series Down Under.
It was an immature decision by the West Indies to leave the series midway. We need to be thankful to Sri Lanka for agreeing to a five-match series. India will start the series under a new captain as MS Dhoni has been given a well-deserved rest. He has been playing non-stop cricket in all formats and it is good the selectors have decided to keep him away from the game for some time.
India will need a refreshed Dhoni when they board the flight to Australia. Dhoni's place will be taken up by Wriddhiman Saha and my best wishes to him. This is a lifetime opportunity for Wriddhi, as it will not be easy for him to match Dhoni's capabilities in ODI cricket.
There will be expectations from Wriddhi but my suggestion to him is to stick to his game. He should just treat this as three ODI games and try to do his best. He should also remember that Dhoni will take over after the three games. This mindset will help release the pressure on Wriddhi and he will be able to enjoy the game.
This is also an opportunity for Virat Kohli to enhance his captaincy skills after the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. I like his attitude on the field but he should relax a bit. The most important thing is that he should understand that captaincy and batting are two different compartments and that will be his test in this series. There was never an iota of doubt about Virat's batting capabilities, and the sooner he understands about separating the compartments the better it would be for him.
Sri Lanka will definitely be more competitive than West Indies. They are a team from the sub-continent and more accustomed to the conditions. They have batting variations and experience in their line-up, which will test Indian bowling. Sri Lanka will be without the seasoned Malinga and India will not have Shami's services. They are two of the best death bowlers in world cricket. Thus, it will be a test for the new bowlers in both line-ups.