Rohit Sharma-led India will take on Kusal Mendis’ Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, on November 2
New Delhi: Virat Kohli is hailed as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Former West Indies cricketer Ian Bishop compared the star batter with LeBron James, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi ahead of the India vs Sri Lanka clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, on November 2.
“what LeBron James is to Basketball, what Ronaldo and Messi are to football, Virat Kohli is to cricket. Virat has a global fan following,” said Ian Bishop on Star Sports.
Placed at the top of the points table with an unbeaten streak of six matches, India need to win at least one of their remaining three matches to secure a place in the semifinals of the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023.
In light of the permutations and combinations, as the World Cup reaches the home stretch with 14 matches still to be played, Rohit Sharma’s team gets its first chance to secure the last-four berth on Thursday when it takes on Sri Lanka at the Waknhede Stadium in Mumbai. After this match, India will take on second-placed South Africa on November 5 and the Netherlands on November 12.
India are currently at the top of the points table with 12 points from six wins, their opponents Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are placed seventh with two wins and four losses.
Sri Lanka too have some chances of making it to the last four stage — their best opportunity is to win all three of their remaining matches and hope that New Zealand, Australia or other teams can finish on 10 points. They also have to improve their Net Run Rate majorly to improve their chances of making it to the semifinals. It is difficult but achievable if luck favours them.
But Sri Lanka has not enjoyed much luck in this tournament as they have lost some key players including skipper Dasun Shanaka and Lahiru Kumara and Matheesha Pathirana all to injuries. They have failed to impose themselves in both batting and bowling departments and the defeat to Afghanistan in Pune has really hurt their chances.
India too have faced injury problems with key all-rounder Hardik Pandya still doubtful and likely to miss Thursday’s clash with Sri Lanka and the subsequent match against South Africa in Kolkata. But his replacement Mohammad Shami has claimed nine wickets in the two matches he has played so far.
The hosts have enjoyed a great campaign in the World Cup, probably their best-ever in the history of the event — winning five matches while chasing and one by defending a small total against England. Their comfortable run based on comprehensive wins has been set up by their bowling unit which has worked with clockwork precision.