India have already qualified for the semi finals and their World Cup journey has so far been a good and dominant one, apart from that one hiccup against hosts England.
They will face an opponent they have gotten the better of on most occasions in the recent past, Sri Lanka, as they look to get the middle-order batting in shape as it has been soft throughout the tournament.
But one can argue that the top order of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli has been so good, that the middle-order batsmen haven’t had much of an opportunity to display their best.
MS Dhoni has been reliable, but slow, as he nears the end of a glittering ODI career, while Hardik Pandya has been good but not at his destructive best with the bat.
Rishabh Pant has played two innings so far and done decently in both but Kedar Jhadav hasn’t impressed too much.
The bowling has been the real bright spot for India with Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami forming an excellent pace trio while the wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have done decently in mostly pacer-friendly conditions.
As for Sri Lanka, their opening pair of captain Dimuth Karunaratne and Kusal Perera have given the team very good starts on most occasions but the middle-order haven’t been able to carry on the momentum.
The century by Avishka Fernando in their last match against West Indies might be a sign of the future and someone that can carry the Sri Lankan batting while Angelo Mathews has been decent this tournament but not at his best.
Thisara Perera has been a disappointment with the bat however and he has not helped Sri Lanka’s weak middle-order batting, which has collapsed numerous times this tournament.
Lasith Malinga, even in the twilight of his career, has been a menace with the ball and has helped Sri Lanka rally and win a few games, while Isuru Udana has also been good in spells.
But for a team that as always produced excellent spinners, the team has looked short and ineffective on that department.
Sri Lanka and India have met on eight occasions during the World Cup with Sri Lanka actually winning four games and India winning three, while one match has been a no result.
The last match was a victory for India, and a famous one as they defeated Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final.
India could go with the same team that won against Bangladesh, though Ravindra Jadeja could be given an opportunity.
India’s Probable XI: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Dinesh Karthik, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka might want to go with the same team that won against the West Indies though Lahiru Thirimanne could make way for Thisara Perera for more attacking power in the batting.
Sri Lanka’s Probable XI: 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), 2 Kusal Perera (wk), 3 Avishka Fernando, 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Lahiru Thirimanne/Thisara Perera, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Jeffrey Vandersay
Pitch and Weather
The pitch at Headingley is expected to be slow and provide enough assistance for the spinners. But it should also be flat enough for the batsmen to score runs, so it should be perfect for these two sub-continental teams.
The weather is expected to stay bring and sunny and no chance of rain, so a full 100-overs can be expected at Leeds.