Dambulla: A fantastic century from Shikhar Dhawan (132 off 90 balls) and a well-made 82 off 70 deliveries helped India beat Sri Lanka by nine wickets in the first ODI of the five-match series Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking about the massive win, Indian skipper Virat Kohli said that the way Sri Lanka got off to a fantastic start, he thought India would be chasing close to 300 runs. “They got off to a really good start. We thought we would chase close to 300. It was a good pitch to bat on. The point of batting second was that it would come on later in the day. It came on like a dream,” said Kohli.
Praising Shikhar Dhawan, he said, “The last three months have been a great tome for Dhawan and he's cashing in on his purple patch. Hopefully he stays in this happy zone and we'll make sure he stays there, because he will win you games as long he's in it. Once he starts going, it's very difficult to stop him.”
“Yes (we have our eyes set on 2019) . You have to prepare 24 months in advance. We're going to experiment and embrace that. You can [expect to] see a lot of changes [from now on]. All the guys have bought into it. It's all about what gives us more balance. Start of the series it's about getting the batting right. Axar brings something with the bat and he's a gun fielder. We felt one wrist spinner was enough. In another match, we might bring in a pacer or play three spinners. It's all about getting the balance,” added the Indian skipper.
Meanwhile Sri Lankan skipper Upal Tharanga said: “We started really well and after that we didn't capitalise. The middle order collapsed. One stage, we were thinking of 300. If you want to score 300 in an ODI, someone has to get a big score. We have to learn from the mistakes. The main thing is someone has to get a big one. The bowling also has to become more consistent.”
Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan said: “Things have been going well for me and I've just been focussing on my processes. I have mental freedom and when you perform well, you have extra confidence. By the grace of god, things are going my way. I just wanted to play positively and on the merit of the ball today.”