Nidahas Trophy: India still favourites, says Sri Lanka coach

Chandika Hathurusingha feels the Rohit Sharma-led side will start ahead of other teams in the triangular T20 series with Bangladesh as the third nation.

Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha inspects the pitch during a practice session at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Monday.   -  AFP

Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha on Monday termed India favourites in the triangular T20 series, despite entering the tournament with a second-string side that does not have the likes of Virat Kohli and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

India outplayed the Sri Lankans in bilateral rubbers in recent times.

“If you go by the rankings, India is the top team in the tournament, so they always start ahead of the other teams,” Hathurusingha said on the eve of the series.

Nidahas Trophy: India’s young turks ready for Tri-Nation test

He added, “Whoever plays for India, it is still a very strong team. We have to start well because we haven’t been doing well at home. With Bangladesh, because of the last series, we probably have a little edge over them mentally.”

India and Sri Lanka kick off the tournament here on Tuesday.

Also read: Shakib Al Hasan ruled out of Nidahas Trophy

Although Sri Lanka have recently showed improvement in Bangladesh, its record against India is woeful.

Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have been rested from the Nidahas Trophy. Rohit Sharma was named stand-in captain of India’s 15-man squad, with Shikhar Dhawan as his deputy.

India also rested several other limited-overs regulars — fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar and Jasprit Bumrah, wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and all-rounder Hardik Pandya

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