This match sort of matters – to India – as it could decide their final position on the table, perhaps even seeing them finish top, if Australia loses to South Africa. It might not even make any difference at all, though, but at the very least a win gets them into form, with two wins in a row, having lost their big match against England.
As for Sri Lanka, this is purely for pride. They can finish fifth win a win here – so long as Bangladesh beats Pakistan – which is absurdly high given their form pre-tournament, their ranking, and, realistically, how they’ve played in this tournament. Sri Lanka haven’t looked particularly good here. If Sri Lanka can beat India, then this is a much better looking tournament than if they lose. Then they can claim that if the rain had stayed away then they might have made the semi-finals.
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Five Fearless Predictions:
(1) India will win
It’s hard to imagine Sri Lanka getting anywhere near here, with their best hope being if India regards this as a dead rubber, but this Indian team is too professional to do that, I think.
(2) Rohit Sharma will go big
He has 4 centuries now and is the leading run-scorer, and the world’s biggest bully of a batsman looks set to bully another lesser team here.
(3) Jasprit Bumrah will be fantastic
He finally broke through with a big haul against Bangladesh and now looks set to go bigger. He’s been in great form all along but to have the numbers in the wicket column is a big deal.
(4) MS Dhoni will make up for it
Much has been said about Dhoni’s go slow at the end of the match against England and he will be keen to prove himself here.
(5) There aren’t many positives for Sri Lanka
They’ve already got 3 wins. Wow. I’ve said how amazing it is to think of how well Bangladesh have done with their 3 wins, but Sri Lanka, the 9th ranked team, also managed 3 of their own, and they were ranked 1 spot below Bangladesh. It’s incredible to think that the two teams ranked 8th and 9th could potentially finish 5th and 6th on the ladder with 3 wins each, and both could potentially finish with 4 wins. That’s the positive. Their actual team is pretty awful.