Team India was back in action less than 15 hours later after handing Pakistan a heavy 228-run defeat in the ongoing Asia Cup 2023 in Colombo. This time the opponent is Sri Lanka and with the surface being a fresh one for the game, the Men in Blue made one change to their line-up, bringing in spinning all-rounder Axar Patel in place of Shardul Thakur.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat first, skipper Rohit Sharma said that the wicket looked a lot drier and hence the conditions suited for slow bowlers which meant that Shardul, who took the big wicket of Mohammad Rizwan, had to sit out. "The pitch looks different, looks a lot drier and there's no grass and hence we are playing three spinners. So, Axar comes in for Shardul," Rohit said.
The rest of the line-up remained the same despite the team playing for a third day in a row. There was an expectation that India might rest a fast bowler and one of Virat Kohli or KL Rahul as both of them batted for the entirety of the Indian innings on the reserve day. With Shreyas Iyer still recovering from his back spasm, the Men in Blue decided to stay with the same set of batters with Rahul at No. 4 and Ishan Kishan at No. 5.
This is a big game for India in the context of qualification for the Asia Cup final as if the Men in Blue beat Sri Lanka on Tuesday, September 12, they will book their spot in the summit clash.
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Mendis(w), Sadeera Samarawickrama, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka(c), Dunith Wellalage, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Matheesha Pathirana