India took on Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the three match series on Sunday – 10 Dec at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala. Rohit Sharma is standing in as captain for the series as Virat Kohli is expected to get married in December and is set to miss the ODI and T20 series.
Sri Lanka won the toss and asked India to bat as they wanted to take full advantage of the conditions. The conditions and pitch looked very similar to Nottingham and the Sri Lankan seamers exploited the conditions brilliantly. India was immediately in trouble as they had no answers to combat the seam and swing.
India Not Prepared For Swing & Seam
Dharamsala is one of the most beautiful cricket grounds in the world but the Indian batting line-up was anything but picturesque. The Indians lost wickets just about every 2 overs and soon found themselves struggling at 7-29. S Dhawan, K Karthik, B Kumar and J Bumrah all got out without troubling the scorers.
R Lakmal who had a great test series was the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers. He bowled his 10 overs and wickets up 4 crucial wickets and gave away just 2 runs. Sri Lankan captain T Perera used 6 bowlers and all of them picked up wickets. MS Dhoni was the only batsman to show some fight and he ended up scoring (65) more than half the Indian total.
Sri Lanka Chase Down 112 Comfortably
India were bowled out for 112 in just 38.2 overs and knew that they would have to bowl Sri Lanka out if they were to pull off a stunning win. It wasn’t to be as Sri Lanka former captain U Tharanga made 49 and put together a nice partnership with A Matthews to take Sri Lanka to the brink of victory. The Lankans managed to chase down the 112 runs quite comfortably in the end and take a 1-0 lead.
India will want to brush off this defeat and look to comeback hard in the second ODI which takes place on Dec 13 in Mohali. The Indians will be under pressure as the next two games become must win games for them to pull off another ODI series win at home.
What will be a bigger concern for coach Ravi Shastri is to see the Indian batsmen collapse on a track that offered swing and bounce. With the South Africa test series scheduled in Jan 2018, Shastri will have to prepare his batsmen both mentally and technically to ensure they don’t succumb to a same fate against the Proteas.