India’s Loss To Sri Lanka Makes Sunday’s Encounter Against South Africa A Must Win Game

The defending champions were favorites to win their match against the Lankan Lions and virtually book themselves a spot in the quarter-finals of ICC Champions Trophy. However India were caught off-guard as the Lankans led by Angelo Matthews who returned from injury chased down a total of 321 one with 8 balls to spare comfortably.

Indian Batsman Deliver

India’s batting did not let them down with another good opening partnership between S Dhawan and R Sharma. Dhawan went on to score a century before being dismissed for 125 as he tried to increase the pace. India lost some momentum after that as both Kohli and Y Singh fell cheaply but MS Dhoni played a good knock scoring 63 of just 52 balls and was well supported by K Jadhav who hit 25 of just 13 balls to give India a good total.

Absence of R Ashwin Hurts India

The Lankans got off to a shaky start after the loss of Dickwella for just 7 but from then onwards strung together vital partnerships without losing further wickets to put themselves in a position of command. Gunathilaka hit 76 of 72 balls and B Mendis made an impressive 89 to set the platform for Perera and Matthews.

The biggest let down for India was R Jadeja who went for 52 runs in just 6 overs. Kohli has left out R Ashwin for the last two games preferring Jadeja as he can contribute with the bat lower down the order. When Jadeja failed to deliver, Kohli was forced to turn to the likes of K Jadhav and himself which helped ease the pressure on the Lankans. Don’t be surprised if you see R Ashwin back in the side for the game against South Africa.

India will also rue a couple of missed run out opportunities and mis-fields that could have turned the match on its head. In a post-match statement, Kohli said “There’s always hindsight. I thought we bowled decently. But when you don’t execute properly, there is always food for thought. Here you have to give credit to the other team. In a tournament like this especially.”

Do Or Die Match Against South Africa

India’s loss to Sri-Lanka makes their game against South Africa a do or die encounter for both teams. South Africa have a reputation of choking when it comes to the big-stage and for that to happen India will have to put the Proteas under pressure early on.