India defeated Sri Lanka comfortably by 7 wickets on Sunday and is leading the three-match ODI series 1-0. Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra believes that despite the loss in the first ODI, the Sri Lankan team should not be taken lightly.
Speaking on the Espncricinfo show, Match Day, Chopra feels if Sri Lanka can apply themselves better in the batting, they will be a tough nut to crack. He said:
“Looking at the first match, one would say they cannot (compete in the series), but I still believe it can happen.
Highest runs scorer of Sri Lanka’s innings. A true fighter just like his brother Niluka!
— Sakun (@Sakun_SD) July 18, 2021
“They need to perform better with the bat, many of their players did get a start. You would want to believe that someone will get a big score in the second match. And if that happens, if they get near 300, they can put the Indian team under pressure.”
“I like Avishka and if he can convert the start and get 130 odd runs, then you will see a different Sri Lankan team and the Indian team will be under pressure. From an Indian perspective, it’s great if India wins, but I won’t take the opposition team lightly, they know the conditions very well,” Aakash added.
Shikhar Dhawan should have got the Man of the Match: Aakash Chopra
Shikhar Dhawan, who scored an unbeaten 86 to take India home deserved the Man of the Match award, said Aakash Chopra.
“For me, Shikhar Dhawan was the Man of the Match, because he was not out till the end. If he had gotten out early, then even Ishan Kishan’s 59 would have been different as the lower order is a bit inexperienced. It was also a lesson for the others, if you get a start, make sure you are there till the end.”
Aakash Chopra also stated that he doesn’t expect the Indian team to make any changes. He said,
“No. There are two reasons for it. When there is a three-match series, put a lot of thought while picking the team in the first match. Because after that match, there should be changes only if something radically wrong happens. Like if the conditions change, there was a green wicket in the first match and now there is no grass.
Then you will obviously change your team but, after you have won a game, it makes no sense. Why fix something, which isn’t broken? And if you change the team after losing the match, then it will seem like you are hitting the panic button. You don’t have enough confidence in your selection.”
“I don’t think there should be any changes, even tactically there is no need for changes.”
The second ODI between India and Sri Lanka will be played on Tuesday, July 20 at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo.