In India vs Sri lanka 1st Odi, India has started yet another series with a win. Sri Lanka won the toss and elected to bat first. India have continued their wretched luck when it comes to winning the toss. The Indian fast bowlers failed to get early breakthroughs in the powerplay overs. They were not very expensive but despite some swing on offer, Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar could not capitalise. It was only when spin was introduced in the tenth over, when Yuzvendra Chahal gave India the opening breakthrough. Kuldeep Yadav struck in the 17th over, taking two crucial wickets which started the downfall of the Lankan innings. It was pleasing to see Hardik Pandya bowl again with some fire.
The Indian bowling was slightly sloppy after the 45th over. Conceding 58 runs off the last 5 overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is usually very economical was slightly expensive. He will have to sharpen up if he wants to make himself a certainty in the team once again. The cameo played at the end by Chamika Karunaratne helped Sri Lanka post a fighting total of 262.
In the second innings, all eyes were on the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. They even open together for the Delhi Capitals in the IPL. The openers gave a flying start to the innings, as Prithvi Shaw hammered the Sri Lankan bowlers all over the park. The Indian captain – Dhawan anchored the innings. He kept rotating the strike. Prithvi was his usual self, playing exceptional cricket shots. This was until he gifted his wicket to the off spinner Dhananjaya De Silva. A player of his calibre should have converted this flying start into a big one, perhaps even a century.
At number 3 walked in the young Jharkhand wicketkeeper batsman Ishan Kishan, on his 23rd birthday. It was his ODI debut and the first ball that he faced was deposited into the sight screen for a straight six. The experience he has gained by playing IPL helped enormously. Ishan fearlessly stepped out of his crease and hit the ball over the bowlers head without taking any pressure of batting at the international stage. By the time he was dismissed, Ishan had played a blistering knock of 59 runs. It was full of boundaries straight down the ground. His knock included 8 boundaries and 2 sixes. Due to the blistering knocks played by the young guns, the chase was made to look quite easy. Suryakumar Yadav, also making his ODI debut got a quickfire 30 to finish the game and showed glimpses of his devastating ability.
India have quite some positives and a few negatives to take from the game. It is still a concern that India are not able to get key breakthroughs in the first 10 overs of the powerplay. Also, the death bowling standards needs to improve and we need not always be reliant on Bumrah for that. It is very good to see the spin twins Kul-Cha back in action as they combined with Krunal Pandya to take 5 out of the 10 total wickets to fall.
The Indian fielding has been up to the mark with almost no mistakes. The openers too, got the team off to a flier, making the job easy for the middle order to finish the game. The aggressive intent showed by the Indian team on the field reflects the amount of confidence the young players have in themselves and the team. The India vs Sri lanka’s 1st game has gone on to prove that the bench strength of the Indian team is of the highest quality and it is all set to brush Sri Lanka aside on their route to another series victory.
– Neel Vyankatesh Joshi