Kolkata, Nov 12: Unchallenged by Sri Lanka so far, India would look to keep the foot on the pedal in their pursuit for a series whitewash when the two teams face off in the fourth and penultimate cricket ODI at Eden Gardens here tomorrow. (Kohli breaks Richards' record)
Sri Lankan have added some sting to their attack by bringing back spinner Ajantha Mendis and have sought to shore up the batting line-up by calling Lahiru Thrimanne and Dinesh Chandimal for the remaining two matches.
The addition of these players may be too late for the visitors as India have already taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in five-ODI series, but at least they have shown the will to fight so that they can salvage some pride.
India have tested their bench strength in the absence of regular skipper MS Dhoni and have further re-arranged their squad by bringing in Rohit Sharma and Robin Uthappa in place of Shikhar Dhawan and Ravindra Jadeja for the final two inconsequential ODIs.
There has been a debate over who would partner the left-handed Dhawan in the World Cup with Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane vying for the opening slot. Sharma has returned to action after a two-month injury layoff with a match-winning 142 for India A in the preparatory match against the visitors, and the Mumbaikar will look to impress the think-tank at the top of the order. (Photo: Kohli blows a kiss to Anushka)
Dhawan has been the chief architect of India's three comprehensive wins as the leading run-getter of the series with 283 runs at an average of 94.33. The selectors have opted to rest the left-hander. Apart from Sharma, explosive batsman and part-time wicketkeeper Uthappa would return to the fold and it would be interesting to see how the re-jigged batting order fares against a spiced-up Lankan attack with mystery spinner Mendis back in the side.
Lankan skipper Angelo Mathews had hit out at his batsmen for showing lack of intensity. The Islanders now seemed to be showing some urgency by withdrawing the under-fire Kumar Sangakkara along with Upul Tharanga, Dhammika Prasad and Suraj Randiv.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa (wicketkeeper), R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Karn Sharma, Stuart Binny, Akshar Patel.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (captain), Kusal Perera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal (wicketkeeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Ashan Priyanjan, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Shaminda Eranga, Lahiru Gamage, Chaturanga de Silva, Seekuge Prasanna, Ajantha Mendis.
Match starts 1.30 PM IST
5th and final ODI on November 16 (Sunday) in Ranchi