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2nd ODI Preview: India v Sri Lanka – India will be shocked into action

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

What on earth happened to India in the first game?

After losing the toss, but batting first as they wished, India capitulated to an unbelievable 29/7 against a team that had won 4 ODIs out of 26 in 2017, with three coming against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. What excuse could be made for such a dismal batting performance? Are India so incapable of playing the moving ball? Even though India’s Test team is vastly different to the ODI team, we can’t forget that in the first innings of the recent Kolkata Test, India were bundled out for 172 on a seaming pitch.

With the Mohali pitch also expected to seam around a little, India must get their batting right without Virat Kohli. The big shots may need to be eliminated early in the innings – this may be a game where singles and twos dominate, and rightly so.

Despite India’s terrible performance, nothing should be taken away from Sri Lanka. Like the first innings of the first Test, Suranga Lakmal was absolutely superb. One thing about Lakmal is that if he is presented with helpful conditions, he will take full advantage of it, displaying wonderful seam and swing to dismantle India’s line up.

Some say India v Sri Lanka contests are getting boring, but quite a bit of spice has been added to this series after a shock result in the 1st match. With not having won a single ODI series this year, including being whitewashed in five-game ODI series on three separate occasions, Sri Lanka have the opportunity to cause a massive series upset in Mohali.

Key to an India win

I don’t think of myself as a genius when I write this….. but India’s batting will be under the spotlight. It’s pretty obvious, and without Virat Kohli, they face a big challenge.

Put simply, being reduced to 29/7 at home against a team with one of the worst calendar year records in ODI history (which included 12 straight defeats and the worst bowling average in history) is an embarrassment. Rohit Sharma’s leadership skills will be put to the test – how does he get his team to bounce back after something like that?

It starts with mindset. India’s approach in the first ODI suggested they thought they were playing on a flat pitch. India has been flooded with high scoring ODIs over the past six years or so, but when the conditions are offering plenty for the bowlers, rotating the strike, rather than boundary hitting, is the name of the game. MS Dhoni was superb, but India will want to use him as a finisher, rather than trying to clean up a huge mess left by the top order.

India’s top five scored a combined 13 runs. Put simply, you’re not going to win any games with numbers like that. How will India approach the game? Will they be confident batting first? Will they resort to chasing? Whatever happens, India’s top order must improve on their first up effort.

Key to a Sri Lanka win

There have not been many Sri Lanka wins in ODIs in 2017, but preying on India’s vulnerabilities is key to helping them win in Mohali to wrap up the series.
If Sri Lanka can get an early wicket or two with the ball, it will put India right on the back foot straight away because of what happened a few days ago. Suranga Lakmal was superb, and will need to follow up his effort with another good performance. Also, all of Sri Lanka’s bowlers were impressive in demolishing India for 112.
If Sri Lanka concede a big total, I doubt that their batting is good enough to withstand the challenge of a big total. Their bowling is key.

Predicted teams

For India, I mentioned before the 1st ODI that Ajinkya Rahane should play. India should try fit him in somewhere but otherwise, India probably wouldn’t look to make too many changes.
India: 1 Rohit Sharma (c), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Dinesh Karthik/Ajinkya Rahane, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
For Sri Lanka, continuity has not been their strong point in 2017. However, I think one change should be made – Lahiru Thirimanne out for either Kusal Perera or Dhananjaya de Silva, if fit.
Sri Lanka: 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Dinushka Gunathilaka, 3 Kusal Perera/Dhananjaya de Silva, 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 6 Asela Gunaratne, 7 Thisara Perera (c), 8 Sachith Pathirana, 9 Suranga Lakmal, 10 Akila Dananjaya, 11 Nuwan Pradeep.

Stats and Facts

  • India’s 112 was their third lowest ever at home their margin of defeat (176 balls remaining) was their worst ever at ODIs at home.
  • A loss in Mohali would mean India’s seven ODI series winning streak will come to an end.
  • Sri Lanka’s win in the 1st ODI was their first win v India in India since 2009.
  • Sri Lanka haven’t beaten India in a bilateral ODI series since 1997.
  • MS Dhoni is 109 runs away from becoming the fourth fastest to 10,000 ODI runs.
  • Sri Lanka’s last bilateral ODI series win came all the way back in June 2016 against Ireland. Their last win against a Test playing nation (at the time) came over two years ago vs West Indies at home.
  • Angelo Mathews needs 63 runs to reach 5,000 ODI runs.

Prediction

India are under a bit of pressure to get things right after an awful performance in the 1st ODI.
Despite the result, they are still a better side than Sri Lanka in my opinion. India have a habit of fighting back when they must win and should do enough here to level the series 1-1. It promises to be an interesting contest.
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Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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