After a minor delay due to COVID-19 concerns, the Sri Lanka- India series is set to kick off tomorrow, July 18. While many experts believe that India will start the series as overwhelming favourites, Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka has given its side an equal chance of winning. Shanaka feels that even though most of the Indian players have played in the IPL, they are inexperienced at the international level.
"Both teams will start evenly because they (India) have got new players coming up. We all know that they have played IPL but still they haven't played international cricket, so both the teams have even chances," said Shanaka on the eve of the first ODI against India here on Sunday.
Sri Lanka’s recent performances have been miserable, to say the least. The team recently suffered utmost humiliation in England where they failed to win even a single game. Also, the injury to Kusal Perera is a massive blow. The hosts recently announced the squad and included quite a few young faces. Shanaka feels having fresh faces can work to their advantage as they could be used as surprise weapons against India.
"Yes, a slight advantage because they (India) haven't seen these guys in international cricket, as well, so yes, I feel they have to prepare well for these newcomers as well," said Shanaka.
Talking about how challenging it is to lead Sri Lanka, Shanaka said, "Ya, it is always challenging, you know international cricket and the outside (off the field) problems, it all matters, but end of the day you have to get to it and perform as a team, it is the main concern we all have, so I am sure that boys will look on to it."
Shanaka further believes the series against India will be a real test for Sri Lanka and will give them a fair idea of where they stand at the moment. He added it will be a good experience for the players.
"The experience will be very good, you know playing against one of the top teams in the world, so it will be a very good to play with India at this point, because we can exactly measure the levels we are in, so it will be a good tournament for us," he added.