India vs Sri Lanka ICC Champions Trophy clash: Strengths and weaknesses of Virat Kohli’s side | icc-champions-trophy-2017 | Hindustan Times
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India vs Sri Lanka ICC Champions Trophy clash: Strengths and weaknesses of Virat Kohli’s side

Indian cricket team will be looking to seal the semifinal slot with a victory against Sri Lanka cricket team in their Group B ICC Champions Trophy match at the Oval in London on Thursday. Here is a look at the strengths and weaknesses of Virat Kohli and Co.

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 08, 2017 10:24 IST
HT Correspondent
After a terrific start to the ICC Champions Trophy title defence, Indian cricket team, led by Virat Kohli, start favourites  against Sri Lanka cricket team at the Oval on Thursday.
After a terrific start to the ICC Champions Trophy title defence, Indian cricket team, led by Virat Kohli, start favourites against Sri Lanka cricket team at the Oval on Thursday.(Getty Images)

India take on Sri Lanka in their second Group B game on Thursday and victory will seal the semifinal spot before they face South Africa in the last league tie. India, after the emphatic win over Pakistan, are favourites, but Sri Lanka can be party-poopers in their must-win game. A look at the teams’ strengths and weaknesses:

INDIA

Strengths:

1. Batting: The top four -- Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh – all scored fifties in the 124-run D/L win over Pakistan after piling up 319/3 in 48 overs. The win was an indication of the carnage India are capable of.

2. Bowling: Even with Mohammed Shami sitting out, India’s pace battery proved too good for Pakistan and Virat Kohli executed his plans perfectly. Hardik Pandya (20 off 6 balls, 2 wkts) also fills in the role of a pace-bowling all-rounder and Ravindra Jadeja that of a spinning all-rounder.

3. Opening partnership: The successful reuniting of openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma – they put on 136 runs against Pakistan – will be a big boost for the team as it wasn’t something everyone would have put their money on, especially in Indian conditions.

Weaknesses:

1. Dressing room: The talk of rift between Anil Kumble and Virat Kohli has gone quiet, but the issue still has the potential to hit team morale, especially in tight situations where decision-making is crucial. The constant buzz is bound to act as a distraction.

2. Sluggish at times: Hardik Pandya’s heroics, and fearless hitting by Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli, helped India put on 72 runs in the last four overs versus Pakistan. It helped overcome the slow progress in the middle overs. India faced 61 dot balls, and inability to score steadily might hurt in tighter situations.

3. Fielding: Skipper Virat Kohli gave India’s fielding only 6/10 after a shoddy effort in the match against Pakistan. At least two run-outs were missed and two catches dropped, though it didn’t come back to haunt them.