A clinical all-round performance from India swamped Sri Lanka by seven wickets at a batting friendly Indore and the series winds down at Pune on Friday.
Sri Lanka get a chance to return home with honours even, however, on the strength and depth of the two teams, it is India who look ready for another win.
Most of what transpired in Indore was on expected lines for India. Jasprit Bumrah made a quiet comeback (4-0-32-1) and at times looked like his old self. The back-up bowlers Navdeep Saini (4-0-18-2) and Shardul Thakur (4-0-23-3) enjoyed the outing and present a welcome headache to captain Virat Kohli.
Even with the bat, the usual suspects performed per expectations. KL Rahul (45 off 32, 6×4) missed what was a sure-shot 50, while Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Kohli helped themselves to 30s each. Their problematic middle-order wasn’t even tested, as India never moved out of the third gear.
The visitors had a promising start to their tour with Danushka Gunathilaka and Avishka Fernando helping themselves to steady 20s. However, their joy was short-lived as the middle-over collapse from 97/3 to 130/9 did them in. The hard-hitting Kusal Perera (34 off 28) tried to launch the innings, but he received scant support.
The Sri Lankan pacers didn’t get the same movement and pace off the track like their Indian counterparts. Even captain Malinga failed to live up to the expectations (4-0-41-0).
India ticked most of the boxes in the second ODI. Although the series is set to be won with a victory, India will have their eyes set on compositions for the T20 World Cup. Sri Lanka too will hope for improvements, in all departments – to be frank. The Islanders need to stay in touch with their hosts and then look to make the most of their own strengths.
History & Statistics
- India have won five of their last six completed home T20Is and 13 of their last 18 completed home T20Is.
- India have won nine of their last 12 completed T20Is.
- India have a 1-1 record at this venue, but their loss came against Sri Lanka.
- The chasing team has won 11 of the last 14 completed T20Is involving India.
- Sri Lanka have lost seven of their last nine completed H2H T20Is in India, including the last six.
- Sri Lanka have lost their last four completed away T20Is.
KL Rahul’s continued consistency is bad news for Shikhar Dhawan, who is in direct contest with him for the opener’s slot. However, Dhawan needs scores of his own to make sure of a World Cup place.
Wanindu Hasaranga continued his good performances from Pakistan and was the best Sri Lankan bowler on view in the second T20I. His sharp leg-breaks could just be the thing that the Indian batsmen do not like to face.