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Colombo: Indiaare two games into the new season and they have already tested both success and defeat. Team India were expected to be a bit rusty in the first match, but they surprised everyone by putting up a stupendous performance. All the Indian batsmen (except for Rohit Sharma) looked in great touch and they dominated the Sri Lankan bowlers.
Indian bowlers had a very good total to defend and despite some loose deliveries they managed to defend the total quite well. Indian team always looked in control and it was Kumar Sangakkara’s heroics that took Sri Lanka close to the total.
Indian team looked good going into the second match, but everything changed at the same vanue the second time. Indian batsmen were blown away by the Sri Lankan medium-pacers and the team that scored more than 300 runs in the first match couldn’t even cross the 150 mark. Everyone thought that the pitch was not conducive for batting, but the Sri Lankan batsmen proved that wrong by chasing the target with a run-rate of over seven.
Indian captain MS Dhoni, after the dismal show by Indian batsmen, blamed the pitch saying that it was not the rash shots that led to their dismissal but it was the unevenness of the pitch.
The third match of the five match series will be played tomorrow and both the captains will be pleased that the match will be played in Colombo. Both captains said that the windy conditions in Hambantota did affect their game-plan and they will be pleased to play a match in the conditions more familiar to them.
This match is very crucial for both the teams as winning this match will give the winner a psychological edge in the series.Sri Lanka will be more confident going into this match because they dominated the previous match and looked good in all departments.
MS Dhoni has quite a few problems going into this match and the biggest of them is Rohit Sharma’s form. Rohit Sharma has scored only five runs in the two innings and Dhoni will have to take a decision on him sooner rather than later. He has a good option in the form of Manoj Tiwary who scored a match winning hundred in the last match that he played.
Bowling has always been the weakness for the Indian team and Dhoni will have to do something about it. Umesh Yadav has been very expensive in both matches and he needs to pull it back. Pragyan Ojha suffered a neck injury during practice and his selection is also dubious.
India played with five bowlers in the first two matches and it will be interesting to know what will be the team combination for the third match after the horrendous show by Indian batsmen in the second match. India will have to come out strongly if they want to get the upper hand in the series or else it could be too late for the men in blue.
By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News Network