After a narrow win in the 2nd ODI, the Indian team will be looking to seal the series against a struggling Sri Lankan side at Palleke International Stadium, Kandy tomorrow.
It was a great bowling display by the Indian bowlers to restrict the hosts to 236 for 8 in 50 overs. While India batted both openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave a flying start putting on 109 runs for the first wicket chasing a revised target of 231 in 47 overs due to rain.
Indian captain changed the batting order promoting KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav. The visitors lost wickets at regular intervals losing 6 for 22 runs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and MS Dhoni played with maturity helping to secure a famous win to take a 2-0 lead in the series. With a chance to seal the series, the Indian team would be looking to dominate and perform according to expectations. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan made the batting look easy adding 109 runs in 15.3 overs.
Manish Pandey might get a chance in the middle order. Apart from that the batting order looks settled. MS Dhoni again made a useful contribution when the team needed most. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also scored his maiden fifty in ODI cricket. In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah was the pick of bowlers taking 4 wickets. The spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel also bowled well in the middle overs.
Sri Lanka struggled with batting department again in the second ODI. Dickwella provided the start again but was dismissed for 31. Kusal Mendis, Mathews needs to contribute much more if they are to challenge a top quality batting line up. Their newly appointed captain Tharanga has been banned for the next two matches due to the slow rate.
Chandimal and Thirimane have been called as cover. Gunathilkha also injured his finger while fielding. Sri Lanka needs to win to remain in the series. Thirimane would open with Dickwella. It would be a big challenge for Sri Lankan batsmen to put big runs. Kapugedra has been named as the captain for the 3rd and 4th ODI.
While bowling, Lasith Malinga, Vishwa Fernando struggled to pick early wickets. The young spinner Danajaya took 6 wickets for 54 runs but could not help his side to win the match. There was no support from other Sri Lankan bowlers that took wickets from another end.
With the series at stakes, Sri Lanka needs to play with intensity and make sure they perform as a unit. India is high on confidence with a chance to secure the series. Despite the errors in the second ODI, the batsmen would be careful to play Danajaya.