Crushing the visitors with a meritorious effort saw India launch the series with a commendable 21-run win over the rivals Sri Lanka at Hambantota. They will definitely look to wrap the second ODI as well in-order to make sure that the series is still in their hands. While the visitors look for another victory, the Sri Lankanjuggernaut will definitely look to win this game so they could keep themselves alive in the series.
Ferocious, relentless and ruthless. These words vividly portray Virender Sehwag and it was a evidence of his brutal batting that he is still in his devastating form. The reigning champions India, proved that they are one of the most feared team and their dominance in ODI world is due to their tremendous batting line-up. The visiting team will be once again fresh and devoid of any injuries and with a long hectic schedule ahead, they will be looking to make another game, fade their ways.
Although the opener Gautam Gambhir failed to complete his responsibility, still he will be eager to pile on runs and support his lethal partner Sehwag. India would definitely not want anotheropening pair, they have a formidable top-order with Gambhir in nice touch, Sehwag in prodigious form and Virat Kohli in extraordinary form. These three batsmen make a rock-solid duo. Virender Sehwag has constructed an extraordinary career with a relentless quest, and a genius, for boundary hitting. With minimal footwork but maximum intent, he has piled Test runs at a faster pace than anyone in the history of cricket.
MS Dhoni has been one of the most feared batsman in ODI cricket in middle overs and could provide strength to his team when needed. He plays some match winning knocks whenever needed as in the World Cup Final. Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan steer theinnings in difficult times. It would be another thriller as Sri Lankan batsmen fought well and will look to elevate themselves against the fierce Indian side.
Displaying swing and accuracy, the Pathan showed praiseworthy performance in the last game. Dhoni would definitely choose him for this game as well. The left-arm Zaheer Khan will be tough-to-play and will test the Sri Lankan top-order. Ravichandran Ashwin was also commendable and bamboozled the batsmen with his variations. Umesh Yadav bowled nicely but will look to concentrate on his short deliveries that spoiled him momentum in the end. He bowled accurate yorkers and made it difficult for batsmen. Pragyan Ojha went for 44 in 6 overs but still perished the most important batsman, skipper Mahela Jayawardene. Dhoni will also look to take utmost care in making his bowlers bowl 50 overs in the allotted time after narrowly escaping another match ban for slow over rate.
The Sri Lankan batting has been much dependant on Sangakkara’s hassle free batting as seen in the last game. A batsman making 133 but his team still losing is such a shame. The loss was only due to the lack of support from his team mates. The Sri Lankan team needs it’s lethal and rock-solid top-order to give strong starts which includes Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal and Mahela Jayawardene. Thisara Perera bludgeoned some out of the park and at a stage it looked that the game still has thrill but as he lost his wicket and then Sangakkara, there were no hopes left. Perera has gained much reputation and his team definitely would want him to stay in same form and has showed that he is a explosive batsman at the end.
Another injury woe disrupted Kulasekara’s career as he has been ruled out of the rest of the series, attempting to take a catch of Sehwag, who was on 24. That gives a opportunity to Isuru Udana who has made room for himself after laudable performance in domestic season. Lasith Malinga went for 83 in his quota of 10 overs. But still, the danger remains on the opponent’s batsmen that his toe-crushing yorkershave not faded away. Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews are the smart supporting pacers and their services in the bowling department are advantageous, especially during the third powerplay. The spin slot consists of Rangana Herath alone but Jayawardene will look to try out another spinner Jeevan Mendis.
India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(c/wk), Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha
Sri Lanka: Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara(wk), Mahela Jayawerdene(c), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimane, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis/Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath
Players to Watch:
Gautam Gambhir: He is still a lethal and erratic player and if he is on song, he will be unstoppable.
Kumar Sangakkra: He holds a vital position in the team. The team has been dependant on his hassle-free knocks and he will look to support once again.
Weather Report: A sunny day is very expected and another epic clash is expected.
Pitch Report: The Pitch at the same venue, Hambantota has been difficult for the batsmen but as both the teams have absolutely big batting line-ups, a high-scoring game is expected.Comments: