Three overs – that was exactly the duration for which India dominated the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Hambantota. Their performance was in stark contrast to the first one-dayer that was played on Saturday.
Sri Lanka completed an easy 9-wicket win to level the ODI Series 1-1 before leaving to Colombo. India couldn’t put up any sort of fight with the ball as the Lankans eased to the target of 139 in just 19.5 overs without playing any real big shots.
In the end, the margin of victory for India at Hambantota wasn’t as significant as expected. Twenty one runs it was. And the key reason why India managed to get home easily in spite of a late surge by the big-hitting left-hander Thisara Perera was the magnificent knock played by Virat Kohli.
Fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep has replaced the injured Nuwan Kulasekara in the Sri Lankan Squad. Kulasekara injured his groin while attempting a forward diving catch at mid off offered by Virender Sehwag in the opening ODI at Hambantota.
India-Sri Lanka matches, of late, have developed a rather familiar script. And, high-scoring games have often gone in India’s favour, whether they are batting first or not. Saturday’s game was no different.
After a massive gap, Team India will be once again seen in action when they take on Sri Lanka in the first of the five ODIs at Hambantota this afternoon. The two teams have already played in 134 ODIs against each other out of which India has won in 71 matches and Sri Lanka has won in 51 matches.
Another Indian tour of Sri Lanka is all set to get underway. And, like always, there is hardly anything to pick between the two teams. India and Sri Lanka have played each other so often in the last couple of years that the players from the two teams know each other inside out.