Sri Lanka went into this 5 match ODI series with India knowing that they had to win atleast two matches to automatically qualify for the 2019 World Cup. They were thrashed 3-0 by India in the test series and were looking to put that disastrous performance behind them with the ODI series – a format they believe they are better equipped to play.
The format changed but the result was just same. India put Sri Lanka into bat and the Lankan Lions got off to a great start and were at one stage 139/1 in just 24 overs. The Lankans were looking at posting a score in excess of 300 and giving India a big chase. However things started to go wrong for Sri Lanka once the top three batsmen were dismissed. The Indian spinners, especially A Patel struck at regular intervals to not only restrict scoring but to also dismiss Sri Lanka for 216.
India Overpower Sri Lanka
That target was never going to be enough for a strong Indian batting line-up. The Indians lost R Sharma quickly to a strange run-out but S Dhawan continued his good run of form, dispatching the Sri Lankan bowlers to all parts of the ground. Dhawan made an impressive century and notched up another 100 run partnership with captain V Kohli. Dhawan remained unbeaten on 132 while V Kohli also finished unbeaten on 82.
The Sri Lankan bowlers did not trouble the Indian batsmen in any form. The seamers had no pace, the spinners had no turn and the fielders had no life. The toothless performance had no fight in it and the match was entirely one sided, much to the disappointment of the Sri Lankan fans.
Sri Lanka Still Searching For Answers
Sri Lanka have always had players in their ranks who were known to be scrappers. The likes of A Ranatunga, A DeSilva, M Jayawardene, T Dilshan and K Sangakkara have always fought till the end. This Sri Lankan team seems to lack a player of that caliber and it is a worrisome thing for Sri Lankan cricket.
The second ODI is scheduled to take place on August 24 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. India have decided that they will experiment with their squad in a bid to fix roles for the players who will be a part of the 2019 World Cup. Sri Lanka on the other hand will be forced to make a couple of changes to see if they can put up a better fight in the second ODI.