“It is a good opportunity to win the series. Not many teams have won series in India. We want to do something special like we did in Dharamsala. If we can repeat that performance, we will win,” Thisara Perera, the Sri Lankan captain for the current three-match ODI series sounded confident ahead of the second ODI at Mohali. But he had little idea of what would transpire.
Rohit Sharma, courtesy his unbeaten 208-run knock, threw cold water on Sri Lanka’s dreams of a series win. The third ODI to be played in Visakhapatnam on Sunday will be the decider as the series hangs in the balance.
The Indian batting line-up will be oozing with confidence after their heroic display in Mohali. The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Sharma is expected to get India off to a flying start yet again. The young gun Shreyas Iyer, who looked in good nick in the second ODI, must have gained a lot of confidence after his knock of 88. He will be looking forward to making full use of his opportunities in the upcoming matches.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were jolted in the second ODI after a dream start at Dharamshala. The Sri Lankan bowlers failed to execute their plans – with Thisara Perera and Nuwan Pradeep conceding more than 10 runs per over. The Lankans will attempt to resurrect themselves and take the attack to the opposition on Sunday.
Despite putting up a horrific bowling show in Mohali, Sri Lanka are expected to go in with an unchanged XI. However, if they decide to make a change, Lahiru Thirimanne, the number three batsman may have to make way for the centurion from the Delhi Test, Dhananjaya de Silva. Thirimanne, after a poor run in the recently-concluded Test series, failed to get going in the second ODI. The good news for the Lankans though is that Angelo Mathews, who was their sole shining light at Mohali, has recovered from cramps and has been declared fit for the third ODI.
India are unlikely to make any changes to the side that battered the Lankans in the second ODI. Kuldeep Yadav is an outside bet to replace off-spinner Washington Sundar, who made his debut in the 2nd ODI.
After a below-par performance in the first two Test matches in Kolkata and Nagpur, Sri Lanka managed to shift some momentum to their side. The valiant efforts of DM de Silva and ARS Silva helped them save the match in Delhi and keep the margin of defeat at 0-1. In the first ODI in Dharamshala, the Sri Lankan bowling line-up, led by pacer Suranga Lakmal, made India aware that they meant business.
But their efforts took a setback in Mohali after suffering a 141-run defeat in a one-sided encounter. Not many are giving the Lankans a chance in the final ODI. But same was the case in Dharamshala, where they swept India off their feet. However, the Indian team looks way stronger on paper, and has a superior record against the Lankans in ODIs.
With a win percentage of over 56%, India has clearly dominated the Lankans in ODIs.
At home, India’s win percentage against Sri Lanka goes up to a staggering 70% in ODIs.
If Sri Lanka are to put up a fight in Visakhapatnam on Sunday, they certainly will have to play out of their skins.
Probable Indian XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Probable Sri Lankan XI: Thisara Perera (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Dhananjaya de Silva, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Asela Gunaratne, Sachith Pathirana, Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep