THE MAROON-BLUE RIVALRY
Author: Manish Khorgade
The Sri Lankan Cricket Team will be travelling across the globe to West Indies in March 2021 to play 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs, and 2 Tests followed by a 2-day practice match. The much-awaited series was got postponed earlier after Sri Lankan coach Micky Arthur and player Lahiru Thirimanne tested positive for Coronavirus. Both the boards have announced their ODI and T20I teams recently. The West Indies team (Maroon-12) is high on confidence after whitewashing Bangladesh in the Test series. Sri Lanka, on the other end, failed to beat England in the Tests. Though the cricket betting odds favour West Indies, the Lankans will be looking for a fresh start by winning a series or two on this tour. The last time these two teams met in February-March 2020 in Sri Lanka. The hosts swept the ODI series 3-0 while the Visitors triumphed the T20Is series by 2-0.
The Maroon (West Indies) and Sri Lanka (Blue) rivalry starts back in 1975. Let’s take a look at how the rivalry stands over the years and what is on the plate in future series.
West Indies and Sri Lanka first faced each other in Prudential World Cup 1975 at Manchester. Since then, they have played 91 times across three different formats. Sri Lanka has won 44 times, 7 more than their rivals. 10 times the matches are ended without any result.
A) ODI Rivalry
West Indies and Sri Lanka started their rivalry with the ODI format. In the first ODI played between the two teams, Sri Lanka managed to score 86 runs barely which was chased by West Indies in 20 overs with a loss of 1 wicket. It took 14 years for Sri Lanka to win its first ODI against WI. They chased 186 runs with the help of Asanka Gurusinha’s 66 runs in the MRF World Series. Since then the scenario of dominance changed. Sri Lanka has won 9 of the last 10 ODIs played against WI.
ODIs Played: 60 - Sri Lanka (29), West Indies (28), and No Result (3)
ICC World Cup: 9 - Sri Lanka (4), West Indies (4), and No Result (1)
B) Test Rivalry
18 years later, Sri Lanka and West Indies played for a draw in the first Test at Moratuwa in 1993. Sri Lanka holds their dominance against the Windies since the beginning of the Test rivalry. Both the teams held their respective home forts unbeaten until Sri Lanka managed to beat West Indies in the last Test played between them at Bridgetown by 4 wickets.
Tests Played (20): Sri Lanka (9), West Indies (4), and Draw (7).
C) T20I Rivalry
In the shortest format of cricket, Sri Lanka ruled over West Indies from 2009 to 2015 by winning 6 out of the 7 matches played. They crushed the West Indies’ dream of reaching the first ICC World T20 in England by 57 runs. West Indies took revenge for their defeat by winning the ICC World Twenty 2012 Final held at Colombo to win their 1st Twenty20 World Cup. West Indies took the controls in their hand in the later stage of the rivalry. Since 11th November 2015, they won all four matches played against Sri Lanka.
T20I played (11): Sri Lanka (6), West Indies (5)
World cup T20I (7): Sri Lanka (5), West Indies (2)
D) Upcoming series
T20I Series: (3-7 March)
The tour will start with the T20Is series at Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on the 3rd of March. West Indies recently picked a 14-men squad for the series. West Indies legend Chris Gayle makes a comeback after 2 years along with Fidel Edwards who will be seen taking the field after a gap of 9 years. The formidable squad under the captaincy of Kieron Pollard has two new faces - Kevin Sinclair (off-spinner) and Akeal Hossain (Left-arm spinner). West Indies will be missing their key players - Andre Russell and Oshane Thomas who helped them win against Sri Lanka last time they played against. But the inclusion of Andre Fletcher, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Bravo, Evin Lewis, and Nicholas Pooran will fill this gap by looking at their explosive forms in the recent tournaments.
In Sri Lankan den, both Lahiru Thirimanne and Lahiru Kumara missed the final list of the squad after testing positive for Coronavirus. Dimuth Karunaratne has been handed over the captaincy of the ODI squad while Dasun Shanaka will captain the T20Is squad. Pathum Nissanka, Ashen Bandara, and 20-year-old pacer Dilshan Madushanka received their maiden call-ups after strong performances in the domestic tournaments. The 20-men Sri Lankan squad sees the return of Akila Dhananjaya after facing a one-year suspension over illegal bowling. Former captain Dinesh Chandimal also found his name on the list after a gap of one and a half years.
Betting on West Indies as they are playing at home with the formidable squad will be the wisest decision one can ever make. Make sure to check our free cricket betting tips for the Sri Lanka tour of West Indies games!
Last 5 T20Is between West Indies & Sri Lanka: WI WI WI WI SL
Last 5 T20Is for West Indies: NR L L L W W
Last 5 T20Is for Sri Lanka: L L L L NR L
ODI Series: (10-14 March)
The 3-match ODI series will be part of the 2020-23 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. The hosts are at the bottom of the table after losing all the ODIs against Bangladesh. Therefore, they will be looking to grab all the available points. Visitors on the other hand will commence their journey to qualify for the 2023 ICC World Cup. A 3-0 series win can take them to the top four positions in the points table. Sri Lanka has kept the same squad for ODIs.
West Indies has welcomed back their first team who opted out of the Bangladesh tour due to Covid fears. The management has kept faith in Jason Mohammed who captained the squad in the absence of the key players.
The recent ODI suggests betting on Sri Lanka will be the safest decision.
Last 5 ODIs between West Indies & Sri Lanka: SL SL SL SL SL
Last 5 ODIs for West Indies: L L L L L
Last 5 ODIs for Sri Lanka: W W W L L
West Indies Squad for T20Is: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Rovman Powell, Lendl Simmons, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Kevin Sinclair
West Indies Squad for ODIs: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Shai Hope, Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, Kyle Mayers, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran
Sri Lanka Squad for ODIs & T20Is: Dimuth Karunaratne (ODI captain), Dasun Shanaka (T20I captain), Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Danushka Gunathilaka, Nuwan Pradeep, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananajaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilshan Madushanka, Pathum Nissanka, Ashen Bandara, Oshada Fernando, Kamindu Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Suranga Lakmal (in for Lahiru Kumara)
Test Series: (21 March - 02 April)
The test series will be a part of the World Test Championship. Both teams are already out of contention to play the WTC Final at the Lords. With 120 points up for grabs, both teams can end their WTC campaign on a higher note, and the position if they manage to whitewash each other.
The Test Squads are yet to be announced for both teams.
Betting Odds for Sri Lanka vs West Indies in 2021
According to 10CRIC, the best T20 Series odds for the West Indies is 1.33 while the odds of Sri Lanka winning the T20 series is at 3.40. The ODI and Test odds are not out yet.
Sri Lanka and West Indies are having a toe-to-toe rivalry with both teams winning the almost same number of matches in the limited-overs format. West Indies will be hosting a team for the first time since the pandemic. The recent form tilts the odds in favour of the West Indies to win the T20I series while the odds will be in favour of Sri Lanka to take the ODI trophy.
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