Time: July 23, 3 PM IST
Venue: R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
There’s nothing but turns for the bowlers. The ball does swing when new, but the pitch isn’t hard enough to keep the batters on the back foot. Of the 29 wickets that fell, 20 belong to the spinners.
Isuru Udana bowled only two overs in the first ODI and was either dropped or rested for the second. However, what changes will Sri Lanka make, is a question only time can tell.
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha/Isuru Udana
Having already sealed the series, India are likely to give chances to the players who warmed the benches in the first two ODIs.
Probable XI for India: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan (c), Ishan Kishan/Sanju Samson (wk), Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya/K Gowtham, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal/Rahul Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
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Players to watch out for
Suryakumar Yadav played some breathtaking shots on Sunday, be it the inside-out shots over covers or the whips over mid-wicket or the sweeps past third-man. One thing is for sure: he will deal in boundaries and the fact that he is a good player of spin increase his chances of success. His scores read 31* off 20 and 53 off 44.
Deepak Chahar’s dreams also included winning a match for India with the bat. He’s a proven performer with the ball, but not many were aware of his talent with the bat. Fans wondered why not Bhuvneshwar Kumar at No. 8 instead of Chahar, but they are mere fans. The coach Rahul Dravid knew better and thinks that Chahar can also be a good No. 7 batter. The result was an unbeaten 69 off 82, when India needed 116 with only 4 wickets in hand. Dravid definitely knows better than the fans, and Chahar has increased the batting depth India have been yearning for.
The Sri Lankan openers, Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka, yet again gave a solid start. Bhanuka could not build upon it, but Fernando went on to score a fifty. That, however, has been Sri Lanka’s case despite being in poor form. They bat solidly in the first 10 overs. What follows is what has been bringing their downfall: the middle-order fails to score runs collectively and lose wickets in heaps. It’s an effective clue for fantasy players. Always pick both Sri Lankan openers.
Yuzvendra Chahal is back to taking wickets. He followed his 2 for 52 with a three-wicket haul. More importantly, he has been bowling excellent lines and lengths.
Had it not been for Wanindu Hasaranga’s three wickets, Sri Lanka could not even have hoped for a win. He dismissed Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan with the new ball and then removed Krunal Pandya to further push India in trouble. In fact, he has been Sri Lanka’s best performer in white-ball cricket.
Sri Lanka have talented cricketers at their disposal and it seems that they will take time to translate the talent into performance. They almost won the second game, but wrong decisions and lack of implementation brought them back to the doorstep of defeat.
India don’t have the burden of winning the series, but they know they cannot take Sri Lanka lightly. Their top-order batters played some rash shots and that a No. 8 batter played almost as many balls as the top 4 batters did. Their bowling too wasn’t effective in the middle-overs. They still have some chinks to wield.
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