The stage is set for a monumental clash as the finalists of the 2011 World Cup, India and Sri Lanka, prepare to renew their World Cup rivalry on November 2, 2023, at the same iconic venue that witnessed their epic showdown 12 years ago – the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
India and Sri Lanka have crossed paths nine times in World Cup history, with each side winning on four occasions, making this encounter incredibly balanced in terms of past performances.
Fans may expect this as a one-sided encounter but in the game of cricket, fortunes can change with a single delivery, and anything is possible on any given day. While India may be the stronger team on paper, Sri Lanka has a rich history of stepping up when it matters most.
India’s dream run continues in the ICC World Cup 2023. Their performance has been so dominant that they are setting the benchmark for excellence in this edition. Every player seems to be in great form and match after match, they have left a trail of demolished opposition in their wake.
In their last match, India were asked to bat first. The pitch conditions were far from ideal, and they encountered a minor collapse, losing three wickets for just 40 runs. However, skipper Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul put together a crucial 91-run partnership. Their partnership gave India the platform they needed to post a fighting total. Sky fired 49 off 47, providing the much-needed impetus.
When it came to defending the 229 runs total, India’s bowlers tore through the English top order during the powerplay itself. The seam duo of Shami and Bumrah was exceptional, consistently delivering unplayable deliveries. The spin maestros, Kuldeep and Jadeja, kept the pressure on. India triumphed by a staggering 100-run margin in what was a low-scoring contest.
Sri Lanka’s journey in the current edition has been a roller coaster ride. The Lankan Lions started on a low note, losing three consecutive matches. However, they quickly rebounded with back-to-back victories against European opponents, the Netherlands and England, igniting hopes of a resurgence. Unfortunately, their recent encounter against Afghanistan resulted in another setback.
In their last match, Sri Lanka batted first and struggled to build a competitive total, getting bundled out for 241. None of their batsmen managed to reach the fifty-run mark. When it came to their bowling performance, they started well by dismissing the explosive Gurbaz in the very first over. However, the Afghani batters took control of the game, eventually chasing down the target in 46 overs.
One of the glaring issues for Sri Lanka has been their spin efficiency, which has been below par in this tournament. Sri Lankan spinners have taken the least number of wickets among all participating teams and have the worst bowling average. This performance is particularly concerning in subcontinent conditions, where spin plays a crucial role.
Probable Playing XI
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis(c) (wk), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhanajay De Silva, Angelo Mathews, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka
The Wankhede Stadium is renowned for its traditionally flat and hard surface, which tends to offer consistent bounce and carry. This characteristic makes it a paradise for batsmen, who relish the opportunity to play their strokes with freedom. The relatively short boundaries further amplify the advantages for the batting side.
In the two World Cup matches held here, South Africa posted imposing totals of 399 and 382. These monumental scores emphasize that the pitch is likely to uphold its reputation as a paradise for the team batting first, where setting a challenging target is the key to success.
Despite its reputation as a batting paradise, the pitch at Wankhede Stadium also assists spinners. As the game progresses, spinners might discover appreciable turn and grip on the surface, challenging batsmen to adapt. Overall, the Wankhede pitch provides a balanced contest between the bat and the ball.
Pitch Stats since 2011 –
- Total Matches Played – 10
- Matches Won Batting First – 5
- Matches Won Batting Second – 5
- Average First Innings Score – 304
- Average Runs Per Over – 5.70
Players To Watch Out For
The Hitman has been on a remarkable journey in this World Cup. After a duck in the initial match against Australia, Rohit has been in scintillating form ever since. He showcased his class with a memorable century against Afghanistan, a match-winning 86 against Pakistan, crucial 40s against Bangladesh and New Zealand, and 87 against England in the previous match, even on the challenging pitch of Ekana.
Rohit has etched his name among the greatest batters in the history of the Cricket World Cup. He holds the prestigious record for the most centuries in World Cup history. In this upcoming match, he will face one of his favourite opponents, Sri Lanka, against whom he has previously scored two double tons.
Rohit will also have the advantage of playing at his home venue, the iconic Wankhede Stadium. His immense experience on this ground is likely to work in his favour, and fans can expect a masterclass from him in this upcoming encounter as he aims to continue his exceptional World Cup campaign.
India’s pace spearhead, Bumrah has been in sensational form throughout the ICC World Cup 2023. With an impressive tally of 14 wickets in just 6 matches, Bumrah has established himself as one of the tournament’s most lethal bowlers. He also has the best economy among pacers who have bowled a minimum of 10 overs.
What makes Bumrah even more intimidating for the opposition is his exceptional track record against Sri Lanka. Having taken 25 wickets in 12 matches against them, including two four-wicket hauls, he has consistently troubled the Lankan batting lineup.
The upcoming match at the high-scoring Wankhede Stadium provides the perfect platform for Bumrah. With his impeccable accuracy, late swing, and yorkers he is a genuine threat, and Sri Lanka will have to be at their very best to counter him in this crucial encounter.
Amidst Sri Lanka’s bowling challenges, Dilshan Madushanka has emerged as a shining star. In the ICC World Cup 2023, he has been a key wicket-taker, accounting for 13 crucial dismissals in just 6 matches.
Madushanka has a knack for providing early breakthroughs for Sri Lanka. Six of his wickets have come during the powerplay, setting the tone for his team. However, one of the struggles he has faced is the lack of support from other bowlers to capitalize on these initial breakthroughs.
Madushanka has shown his ability to dismiss some of the world’s top batsmen, including the likes of Kohli and Rohit in the past. As Sri Lanka prepares to face India, he will once again play a pivotal role. If he can dismantle the Indian top order, he has the potential to be a match-winner for Sri Lanka in this upcoming encounter.
IND vs SL Dream11 Team for Match 33 of 2023 WC
Note: This is not our final Dream11 Team as we are not aware of the Toss Result/Final Playing XI of both teams at this moment.
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