Colombo: The India-Sri Lanka five match ODI series is past halfway stage with India holding the upper hand after the first three matches. It is difficult to separate the two teams as both teams have played some good cricket in patches.
India started the tour well, by posting a score over 300 in the first match and then defended it well. Sri Lanka came back with a stupendous performance as they outplayed the Indians in every department in the second ODI.
Third match has been the best of the series. The match saw some fine performances and it went into the last over of the match.
In the previous match, Sri Lanka did well to score 286 runs after the horrible start that they had where they lost three early wickets. India in reply was cruising at one point, but some negative batting and some great Yorkers from Lasith Malinga changed the course of the match. It took a great innings from Suresh Raina and some resilient batting from Irfant Pathan took India out of the precarious situation.
Both captains have some serious decisions to make going into the fourth ODI. Indian team has openly supported Rohit Sharma though he is going through a tough time. Rohit now has got two ducks in the series and in one innings where he opened his account he could only manage five runs. It is clear that the team management wants to have him in the team, but justifying his selection is getting tougher after each passing match. Dhoni will have to look beyond Rohit sooner rather than later and the best choice that he has is Manoj Tiwary.
Another problem that Dhoni has is the third fast bowling option. India played Umesh Yadav in the first two matches and he was vry expensive in both the matches. In the third match, Dhoni tried Ashok Dinda, but he too failed as he conceded runs at an economy rate of over 7.
Sri Lanka also has some major problems ahead of what will be a do-or-die match for them. Their star batsman, Kumar Sangakkara is injured and will miss the remaining of the series. He is the highest run-scorer in the series and the home team will miss him dearly.
Jayawardene will also have to take a decision on Udana. The left-arm medium-pacer has bowled poorly and he seems to lack the control.
Jayawardene might replace him with an extra batsman to strengthen his batting line-up which looks week after Sangakkara’s exclusion.
It should be another tense completion just like the last match, and going by the look of things, India will be more confident going into the match.
By Indian Sports News Network