Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe – 1st One-Day International Preview & Prediction
When is Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe taking place? Sunday, January 14th, 2021 – 09:00 (UK)
Where is Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe taking place? Pallekele International Stadium, Kandy
What is the expected weather for Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe? 24-29c with a chance of thundery showers and light winds
What channel is Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe on? Information regarding this match being televised will be announced in due course.
Where can I stream Sri Lanka vs Zimbabwe? Information regarding streaming for this match will be announced in due cause
Sri Lanka beat Zimbabwe by five wickets.
THE TEAM NEWS
- Sri Lanka will be led in this three-match ODI series by Rumesh Ratnayake, who has taken charge of the team on an interim basis following the departure of previous head coach Mickey Arthur and will be assisted by Ruwin Paris.
- Top order batter Aviska Fernando will miss the entirety of the ODI series after having tested positive for Covid-19, however the hosts will be boosted by the presence of Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis, with all three having had their international suspensions lifted.
- Zimbabwe will also enter this first ODI without a permanent head coach in charge of the team, with Lalchand Rajput forced to enter isolation after contracting Covid-19, a blow for Zimbabwe, who have won just one of their last 16 completed ODI fixtures.
- The tourists will need to put together a batting order capable of making up the runs lost by Brendan Taylor’s retirement, with Craig Ervine named as captain and the experienced duo of Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams expected to form the spine of their batting order.
Zimbabwe are very much a national side in transition following the retirement of Taylor, who had been a key figure for them with the bat across many years and it would be no surprise if the tourists were to struggle on a surface likely to benefit the home side and their plethora of dangerous spin-bowling options. The hosts are coming off the back of an excellent performance in their recent Test series against West Indies and whilst this is a different format of cricket and will likely see a number of personnel changes to boot, Sri Lanka with home advantage in their favour should have enough ability within their line-up to accrue a healthy score with the bat, even without Fernando. Combine that with a bowling unit that should wind up far too strong for Zimbabwe in the usual spin-friendly conditions of Kandy, then it makes backing a Sri Lanka victory in this first ODI a no brainer. However, when taking into account the potential of inclement weather, it would be wise to keep an eye on the forecast leading right up to the start of play and not make any premature moves.