Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha reckons India are the favourites at the Nidahas T20I tri-series starting in Sri Lanka from Tuesday.
India, number one in Tests, recently beat South Africa 5-1 in ODIs and 2-1 in T20Is. Their ODI series win took them to the number one spot in the ICC rankings.
Although the T20I series win didn't improve on their third position in the rankings, they got one rating point.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, on the other hand, are presently placed eighth and tenth in T20I rankings.
"If you go by the rankings, India is the top team in the tournament, so they always start ahead of the other teams," 49-year-old Hathurusingha, who represented Sri Lanka in 26 Tests and 35 ODIs, said on the eve of their opener.
"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," he added.
Sri Lanka recently did well in Bangladesh across Tests and T20Is but Hathurusingha wants his team to look ahead and not revel in past triumphs.
“It will help if we start well again. Bangladesh series is in the past. Whether we bat or bowl, I reiterate we need to start well. That would help us to get the momentum in this series,” the former all-rounder said.
The first match of the tri-series on Tuesday will see Rohit Sharma's India and Dinesh Chandimal's Sri Lanka locking horns from 7 pm IST onwards at Colombo.