November 3, 2014
India started there ODI’S against Sri Lanka in fine style beating the tourists by 169 runs in Cuttack. A fantastic opening partnership from Shikhar Dhawan (113) & Ajinkya Rahane (111) left the Sri Lankan attack in tatters.
They had no answer as the 1st wicket partnership amounted to 231 before India lost a wicket. The pain didn’t stop there for Sri Lanka because India made a slight change to their line up to promote Suresh Raina in at 3. He quickly got going and smashed a quick 52 off 34 balls. There were also useful contributions from the stand-in skipper Virat Kohli (22) & Ambati Rayudu (27) on the way to posting 363-5 off 50 overs.
Suraj Randiv was Sri Lanka’s top wicket-taker but he paid a heavy price going for 78 in his 10 overs. Sri Lanka used a total of 8 bowlers in all. That is a sure sign that things were not going at all to plan and Randiv was the only bowler to bowl the total amount of overs permitted.
Things went from bad to worse for Sri Lanka as their side was dismissed for 194 in 39.2 overs. Their only real resistance was from former captain Mahela Jayawardene with a classy 43 before he chipped a delivery to extra cover off the bowling off Akshar Patel (2-24 off 6 overs). The best figures of the match belonged to Ishant Sharma (4-34 off 8 overs) as he cleaned up the tail in emphatic style.
This was a strong performance from the Indian cricket team and going forward they will want this fine form of their openers to continue into the World Cup. Dhawan especially is one to watch out for with his massive range of stroke play, being able to play little delicate reverse sweeps and also big powerful shots over the ropes. It is the perfect blend of one day batting.
Slight concern for India will be the form of Virat Kohli there is no doubt that on his day his batting is a joy to watch and he is one of the most destructive one day cricketers in the world. At the moment we are not seeing that player. Let’s hope he starts firing before February as I feel his country will need him!
As for Sri Lanka no doubt the talent is their with the bat, I just think there bowlers need to help them out a bit more here. They will need to find a way of penetrating with the new ball. Otherwise it could be a long series for Sri Lankan fans.
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