India were back to decimating Sri Lanka in the second ODI as Rohit Sharma and co. blasted their visitors out of orbit by scoring 392/4 in the first innings of the match. The skipper scored his third double century in ODIs, leading his team from the front in an emphatic 141 run victory.
The hero for Sri Lanka in the first match, Suranga Lakmal, failed to hit his stride in the second one. Perera and Pradeep ended with economies of 10 and over. Mathews resisted valiantly with the bat, scoring a century himself, but it was in vain.
As the last match beckons, Sri Lanka can still clinch the series with a good performance. Will they hit back, or will India take the series 2-1?
Thisara Perera (c), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Chaturanga de Silva, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dushmantha Chameera, Sachith Pathirana, Kusal Perera.
Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Washington Sundar.
Where The Teams Stand
There’s not much any bowling attack can do when India hit the ball the way they were in the second ODI. Sharma is an expert at pacing double hundreds, usually going from 100 to 200 in the last 10 overs, ensuring a strong finish for his team and an enviable milestone for himself. Dhawan and Iyer also put in fine performances, capping off a brilliant batting effort from the hosts. After a bowling masterpiece in the first one, Sri Lanka fell completely flat in the second. Amidst all the carnage, two bowlers were outstanding. Dananjaya and Pathirana maintained economies of 5 and 7 respectively despite bowling in the latter half of the game. On another day, they might be very successful with the ball for their team.
Judging and analyzing Sri Lanka for the next match based on the last one will almost certainly lead one to come to some inaccurate conclusions. They have had one brilliant and one insipid performance each. If they can find a balance for the last ODI, they might have a good chance of beating India. The only concern for them is, India have also had similar results, in the opposite order.
India proved to every single cricket fan what they can do on the pitch without Kohli with their performance in the last game. Scoring 400 odd against any team is a massive achievement, much more so when the same team bowled you out for 112 in just the previous game. However, India need to be wary of their performance in the next match. Consistency was the folly of the Lankans in the second game, and it can be the same for India in the third.
Washington Sundar made his debut for India in the previous match. He finished with figures of 1-65, quite expensive, but with any luck this will be a learning curve for him. It will be interesting to see if he retains his place ahead of Yadav for the decider. All the three pacers maintained economies of lower than 4.5, a positive sign, and even more so for Pandya in particular. After playing like their normal selves, it is easy to hand India an easy advantage going into the third game, but the match seems to be headed for a much closer finish.
India win. Assuming that it does go down the wire, India simply have the better resources to deal with pressure. Regardless, India have the overall advantage as well.
Who will get the win in the third ODI between India and Sri Lanka? Let us know in the comments below.
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