March 22 2018

India look to seal series

March 22 2018, 03:54 | Frederick Owens

The Sri Lankan skipper is suspended from his first series as official captainMore


However, Sri Lanka spinner Akila Dananjaya (6-54) initiated a stunning collapse as India lost seven wickets for just 22 runs.

The spinner took six wickets for 11 runs in just 21 balls as he saw off India's middle order. He picked another three wickets in two matches, including one in the final against eventual winners West Indies.

"I am an off-spinner". They will hope that the seasoned Lasith Malinga, still stuck on 298 ODI scalps, finally pulls his weight in the side by taking a wicket in this series.

Whether Kohli shuffles himself down the order for a second successive time, or chooses to play it safe and keep the tinkering for the remainder of the batting order, is something that remains to be seen.

Ahead of the second ODI, he had outlined the need to give ample opportunity to the youngsters in the side, particularly the bowlers. "So I made a decision to get back to my variations. We have affected probably the most number of run-outs in Test cricket over the last few years", he said.

"The way we look at every game is that we take something into the next game and the remaining part of the series". Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis were there - bowlers whom I had liked from a long time back.

MS Dhoni was at his vintage best in the previous match, coming from behind to put an unbeaten 100-run partnership with Bhuvneshwar Kumar to seal a sensational victory. The duo rescued India from a precarious 131/7.

The Indian team had slipped to 131 for 7 as the new Sri Lankan gem, Akila Dananjaya, destroyed the top batting order with his googlies.

The manner in which that came about was peculiar and somewhat controversial, as the then Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene fast tracked his selection to the national squad, despite not having any first-class, List A, T20I or U-19 cricket experience. While Dhoni's power hitting may be on the wane, he is still lightning between the wickets and his sharp cricket brain is as calculating as ever. It was an incredible comeback from a side that had looked short of ideas again when they had batted. "Nothing much of a change on the wicket", he said.

Danushka Gunathilaka only made 19 before being stumped by Mahendra Singh Dhoni off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal, while captain Upul Tharanga was dismissed by Hardik Pandya for nine runs.

"We will try out different players in different slots to get the best exposure to get the best out of each player".

Speaking of Indian batsmen, both skipper Kohli and fielding coach R Sridhar have insisted that their experimentation with the line-up is here to stay, as their preparations for the 2019 World Cup is already underway.

"Wedding was in the afternoon". Some of us from the Indian media covering the series had the luxury to lounge back in the evenings besides the swimming pool at the team hotel with the coverage being superseded by Beijing Olympics where India had begun to register some glory.

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