Sri Lanka v India, 3rd ODI, ColomboIndia Looks Bounce Back at Colombo27-Jul-2012 16:24:00 GMT
Colombo: The Indian cricket team will aim to pick up the pieces after a disastrous performance in the last match and get their campaign back on track when they take on hosts Sri Lanka in the third ODI to be held on Saturday.
After a couple of contrasting performances in the two matches at Hambantota where Men in Blue first won comfortably by 21 runs before being soundly thrashed by nine wickets, the action moves to the familiar territory of Premadasa Stadium here.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not very fond of tinkering with his playing XIs but he now seriously needs to think as to how many more chances does Rohit Sharma deserve in order to prove that he is a regular match-winner like Virat Kohli or even fairly consistent on sub-continental tracks like Suresh Raina.
Rohit has scored a meagre 156 runs in his last 10 ODI innings and has been one of the few players in recent times who has got chances aplenty but failed to deliver on most of the occasions.
Rohit's replacement ideally is Manoj Tiwary, who incidentally would like to forget that he has been benched for 14 consecutive matches after scoring his maiden ODI century despite being fit and available.
Ajinkya Rahane also deserves a chance but with Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli being automatic selections for the first three batting slots, the talented Mumbaikar won't be an ideal choice in the middle-order given his style of play.
The Premadasa strip is known to help the slower bowlers but Pragyan Ojha's neck injury which he sustained during Thursday's training session would be a cause of worry for Dhoni.
Lasith Malinga showed glimpses of getting back into the groove during the last match after being severely punished by Kohli, Sehwag and Dhoni during the first game.
Sri Lankan openers Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga were also among the runs during the last match -- a kind of warning signal for the Indian bowlers.
Umesh Yadav in particular has leaked a lot of runs trying to bowl flat out but he also needs to control -- something he can learn from veteran Zaheer Khan who has been a bit scratchy in the first two games.
Upul Tharanga endured a tough series against Pakistan recently and was under pressure to hold his spot in the team. But an unbeaten half-century chasing India's modest total may have just boosted not only his confidence, but also Mahela Jayawardene's faith on the batting order.
The host likely to continue with the same squad that played in the second ODI.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedera, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain & wk), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda.
Stats and trivia
- The average run-rate in 1st/2nd innings at the Premadasa from 2007 till before the World Cup was 5.22/4.58. Since the pitch was relaid, the average run-rate has changed to 4.37/4.81
- Angelo Mathews averages 33.56 with the bat after 78 matches. Against India, his average drops to 29.54. In Sri Lanka, it drops further to 26.35
- In the previous seven completed ODIs at the Premadasa stadium, the team batting first has won only once.
Saturday, July 28 2012 (day/night)
Start time 1430 local (0900 GMT)