Ind vs SL: Confident India out to clinch ODI series

With the series levelled at 1-1, India would be hoping to finish things off on a winning note when it takes on Sri Lanka in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.

Rohit Sharma discusses a point with coach Ravi Shastri in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.   -  K. R. Deepak

Two striking features of the first two one-dayers can give a clear hint of what is in store when India and Sri Lanka clash in the decider of the three-match Paytm Trophy one-day series after the scored were tied at one-all at the Dr.Y.S. Rrajasekhara Reddy Stadium here on Sunday.

In bowling-friendly conditions at Dharamshala in the first ODI, Lankan pacer Suranga Lakmal had figures of 10-4-13-4 and in the next match at Mohali his analysis read 8-0-71-0 in the face of Indian captain Rohti Sharma’s stunning onslaught.

And, the Indian batting line-up, with the exception of MS Dhoni, cut a sorry figure in Dharamshala but rediscovered its form in Mohali in the second ODI against the same bowling attack which lacked discipline and direction in less helpful conditions.

Clearly, a reminder that the pitch holds the key and here it looks dry and might assist turn and be on the slower side too which also means stroke selection will be the key to a batsman’s success.

How well the Lankan bowlers will make amends from the Mohali defeat and finish off the tour on a high will be the big question against Indian batsmen who at home are, perhaps, the most ruthless against any attack.

QUICK FACTS

# Sri Lanka has the chance to claim its first bilateral series win over India in ODI cricket since 1997. The series is currently locked at 1-1.

# India has won 20 of its 27 completed One Day International matches so far in 2017 (74%), only England has a higher rate (79%). Sri Lanka has the lowest win rate of any side in this calendar year (five of 27).

# India has been involved in six previous ODI matches at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam, winning five of them (L1). This includes a seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka back in 2007.

# Angelo Mathews comes into this game having posted an unbeaten 111; he now holds an ODI average of 148 across his 10 innings in India, the highest ever rate of any batsman there.

# Rohit Sharma’s 208 not out helped India win the 2nd ODI over Sri Lanka; there has only been seven ODI double centuries posted and Sharma has been responsible for three of them, no other batsman has registered more than one. --Omnisport

 

With captain Rohit Sharma, fresh from his incredible third ODI double century, and southpaw Shikhar Dhawan putting on their 12th century stand in ODIs in the last game and expected to dominate again, it is highly unlikely a struggling Ajinkya Rahane will get a chance in this crucial game.

With the young and exciting Shreyas Iyer making amends with an impressive knock in Mohali, after a disappointing ODI debut in Dharmashala, there could be no major changes in the settled batting line-up.

Not surprisingly, the Indian bowling attack deserves full credit for rising to the occasion on the same kind of pitches where the visiting bowlers struggled if one looks at the consistency of the pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah in Mohali. Though the spin duo of debutant Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal were expensive, importantly picked the wickets.

READ: Third ODI is just ‘another game’ for Perera

And, it would be interesting, whether the more experienced chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav will be preferred to the Sundartomorrow or the young talent given another huge opportunity to prove a point or two given the number of left-handers in the Sri Lankan side.

On the other hand, it is imperative for the Lankan openers Dhanushka Gunathilaka and the flamboyant and more experienced Upul Tharanga to come good for the likes of Lahiri Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, whose impressive century in the previous game was in vain, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne to capitalise on a decent start.

It is also time that the big-hitting captain Thisara Perera, whose record suggests him to be more of a bowling all-rounder, to make amends with the bat too if the situation merits.

READ: Dhawan: ‘We will try to keep the basics right’

In bowling, it will be interesting to see how the pacers – surprisingly Angelo Mathews did a decent job sharing the new ball in the first two games, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Thisara Perera - respond if they were up against conditions which favour the batsmen in this Port City too.

Not surprisingly, Rohit Sharma will be keen to clinch his maiden ODI series as captain even as the pitch holds the key in this ‘City of Destiny’ to which he has some ancestral links too!

The teams (from): India: Rohti Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Dinesh Karthik, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul.

Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera (capt), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Chaturanga de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Sandeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Sachith Pathirana and Kusal Perera.

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