1st ODI preview: Sri Lanka v India, Hambantota
India is playing Sri Lanka again. In the last three years, both these sides have met each other in 9 ODI series. There have been bilateral engagements, they've participated in triangular series in Zimbabwe and Australia, and then there's been the inevitable Asia Cup. They've even conspired a final finish in the 2011 World Cup. The two sides have played against each other so many times that the forthcoming ODI evokes no sense of anticipation. There is a sense of numbness to the contest. But since, Team India has some free time before they host New Zealand for a two-match Test series, the BCCI big-wigs decided to send the team across the Indian Ocean for the umpteenth time. And not for once we must think that it's about money or sponsors or TV rights.
- What's in it for India?
If India takes the series 5-0 they shall top the ICC ODI Rankings chart. Currently, India is parked at the fourth spot while Lankans have taken the fifth position. Australians head the list. The tour can be a good rehearsal ahead of the World T20 tournament in September.
- What's in it for Sri Lanka?
A chance to carry on the momentum after two good series against Pakistan and England.