The ICC Champions Trophy just ended a week back and like Team India, Sri Lanka is also up for a bilateral series against the weaklings Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka who sits at 8th position in the ICC ODI Team Ranking will be seen competing with the opponents who sit at 11th position in the ranking table. In the recently played ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Team Sri Lanka performed quite well but still couldn’t reach the semis. They were placed in the same pool as South Africa, India and Pakistan. Even though Sri Lanka beat tournament favorites India comprehensively in the Champions Trophy group stage match, they were beaten by eventual champions Pakistan in their last virtual quarter-final. Sloppy fielding cost the team heavily in that game as Man of the Match Sarfraz Ahmed was put down twice.
The first two ODIs with Zimbabwe will be at Galle and the remaining three 50-over games will be at the refurbished Hambantota Stadium. Zimbabwe players are also in pretty good form and are all high spirited to win a series against the hosts. We all have seen big upsets in ODI format matches and it will be unfair to announce Lankans as the proclaimed winners. Zimbabwe squad for the two matches includes Graeme Cremer (captain), Solomon Mire, Christ Mpofu, Donald Tiripano, Richard Ngarava, Hamilton Masakadza, Malcolm Waller, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Ryan Burl, Peter Moor, Raza Butt, Tendai Chatara and Tarisai Musakanda
The Sri Lankan team has made quite a few changes in their playing squad against the visitors. In all, Sri Lanka left out eight players who were part of their Champions Trophy squad. Apart from Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Chamara Kapugedera and Kusal Perera are also left out this time. The present squad includes Angelo Mathews (captain), Upul Tharanga, L. Sandakan, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep Fernando, Niroshan Dikwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Asela Gunaratne, Wanidu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera and Lahiru Madushanka.
Well, if you are staying in Sri Lanka or are visiting for a vacation, this upcoming sports event should be on top of your list.