ICC Champions Trophy 2017, India vs Sri Lanka: Key player battles | icc-champions-trophy-2017 | Hindustan Times
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ICC Champions Trophy 2017, India vs Sri Lanka: Key player battles

India will face Sri Lanka at The Oval on Thursday in the ICC Champions Trophy Group B after thrashing Pakistan in their opening clash.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 08, 2017 13:56 IST
Virat Kohli-led India will take on Sri Lanka in their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Group B encounter at The Oval in London on Thursday.
Virat Kohli-led India will take on Sri Lanka in their ICC Champions Trophy 2017 Group B encounter at The Oval in London on Thursday.(Reuters)

India and Sri Lanka will clash in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 on Thursday. While Virat Kohli & Co come into this match after thumping Pakistan, Sri Lanka suffered a 96-run defeat in their opening clash against South Africa. Here are some key battles between players to watch out from their upcoming clash:

Virat Kohli vs Angelo Mathews

It will be interesting to see how the two captains make their moves at The Oval on Thursday. (HT Photo)

Kohli is no doubt the biggest wicket for any team nowadays. After a quiet IPL, Kohli roared back to form with his mature unbeaten innings to see the team through against Pakistan. Kohli kept his poise despite the rain breaks hampering the momentum of the game in the ICC Champions Trophy opener. Mathews, who will play the India match only as a batsman after injury ruling him out of the opener, will be relishing an opportunity to create magic with his captaincy moves and batting strength.

Yuvraj Singh vs Dinesh Chandimal

Yuvraj Singh came back to form in the previous match against Pakistan but Chandimal could equally surprise the Indian bowling line-up. (HT Photo)

The expectations have gone a notch higher after vintage Yuvraj’s blistering knock against Pakistan. The southpaw in full flow is a treat to watch and can be the most dangerous batsman in the Indian line-up. In Chandimal, Sri Lanka have a player who can match Yuvraj’s exploits. Hopes are pinned on Chandimal to fire if Sri Lanka have to succeed in the eight-team ICC Champions Trophy. Sri Lanka would hope Chandimal to replicate his 2016 form this year and kick-start his revival.

READ | India vs Sri Lanka ICC Champions Trophy clash: 5 most memorable Ind vs SL matches

Rohit Sharma vs Lakshan Sandakan

Rohit Sharma made a brilliant comeback to international cricket but he could face a test in the form of Lakshan Sandakan on Thursday. (HT Photo)

If there is little bit of help from the surface for spinners, Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews won’t think twice in introducing his chinaman Sandakan. The skipper would be tempted to use him against India opener Rohit, who has suddenly become vulnerable to leg-spinners going by his recent performance in the IPL. The wrist spinner, who has played only six ODIs, would also add the suspense element as not many teams have faced him before.

Hardik Pandya vs Asela Gunaratne

It will be interesting to see which of the two finishers come out on top at the end. (HT Photo)

The two finishers will be the one to watch out for. Pandya’s three sixes in the final over left Pakistan reeling, Gunaratne’s 84 not out to clinch a thriller against Australia in a T20 contest earlier this year showed the kind of skills he possess. In a close India vs Sri Lanka encounter, a lot will ride on how Pandya and Gunaratne perform for their respective teams.

READ | ICC Champions Trophy: Virat Kohli-led India aim to seal semis berth vs Sri Lanka

Jasprit Bumrah vs Lasith Malinga

This will be a pure teacher vs student battle at The Oval. (HT Photo)

This battle is nothing short of a guru-shishya partnership. While Malinga is the master of yorkers, Bumrah has learnt the art from the Sri Lankan ace during his time with the Mumbai Indians and has been intelligently deploying to good use for the Indian team. The Bumrah-Malinga magic did wonders for Mumbai Indians in the last IPL. It will be interesting to see how the two pacers fair when pitted against each other on Thursday.