India favourites for Nidahas Trophy, admits Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India favourites for Nidahas Trophy, admits Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha

India, led by Rohit Sharma for the T20 tri-series, rested Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the series after their grueling 50-day tour of South Africa. The Sri Lankan coach stated their preparations were not going to change.

cricket Updated: Mar 05, 2018 19:50 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
India's captain Rohit Sharma, second right, gestures to a teammate during a training session ahead of the tri-nation T20 cricket series in Colombo.
India's captain Rohit Sharma, second right, gestures to a teammate during a training session ahead of the tri-nation T20 cricket series in Colombo.(AP)

Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes the Indian cricket team for the 2018 Nidahas Trophy, though missing some big names, are still favorites for the title. India take on Sri Lanka in the first match of the tournament at the R Premadasa stadium on Tuesday.

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Hathurasingha spoke during the practice session. “If you go by the ratings, India is the No 1 team, so they always start ahead of the other teams. Whoever comes, India is a very strong team. With Bangladesh, because of the last series, we probably have a little edge over them mentally.”

India selectors named Rohit Sharma skipper for the T20 tri-series after they rested Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, following the gruelling 50-day tour of South Africa. The Sri Lanka coach said the preparations of the hosts were not going to change.

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“Whoever they play on that day, we prepare for them. If the stars are there, it’s good for the spectators, but unfortunately they’ve come with a different team. It doesn’t mean we’re favourites,” Hathurusingha said.

Under Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka staged a revival in the recent tour of Bangladesh, winning the tri-series final, the two-Test series and the T20 Internationals. Hathurusingha, who earlier coached Bangladesh, admitted the Sri Lanka team had an edge over Bangladesh.

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“With Bangladesh, because of the last series, we probably have a little edge over them mentally. However, that series is over. Our main aim is to start well at home,” Hathurusingha said.

Sri Lanka has lost six consecutive T20 games against India and will face an uphill task at the R Premadasa stadium, a venue where they have lost 12 out of 14 games.