The first ODI of the five-match series was played at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium, Dambulla on August 20. India under a new head coach, Ravi Shastri is touring Sri Lanka for three-Test series followed five one-day internationals and one Twenty20 international.
India meanwhile, have jettisoned Yuvraj Singh for this tournament, and so plentiful are their options, even MS Dhoni’s future on the side is not set in stone, according to Trophy they have also swatted West Indies aside 3-1 in the Caribbean – Virat Kohli making torreording to a chairman of selectors MSK Prasad. Since their loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy, they have also swatted West Indies aside 3-1 in the Caribbean – Virat Kohli making torrents of runs, while left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was the joint-highest wicket-taker in his maiden ODI series.
In short, India has runs, wickets, form, and confidence on their side. Sri Lanka has the distant memory of that Oval victory and familiarity with conditions on theirs. During the Tests, it seemed like India could have played the worst XI in their squad, and still won. On paper, the ODI sides don’t seem like much more of an even match. To bring the tour to life, Sri Lanka will have to spring an almighty surprise.
Man of the Match, Shikhar Dhawan said that he really enjoyed batting out in the middle. Reckons said that he was positive throughout and was looking to score runs and competition on the side helped him to bring out the best and also kept him on the toes to keep performing. This was India’s biggest win away from home, fourth highest overall and it reflects in how they played. They are not yet a strong Test side but they do their basics right and it works against teams which are not that strong. They made a lot of mistakes, dropped catches, and had poor bowling plans yet came out on top thanks to the gulf in the quality of the teams. They will want to build on this win and go forward.
The Dambulla surface has flattened out a little in the past year, but 300 remains an excellent score at this venue. The weather was cloudy, but fine, with temperatures reaching a high of around 31C during the day.
Before the match, the captain of the Sri Lanka team Upul Tharanga stated that “This will be an important series as we are ranked eighth [with a chance of failing to automatically qualify for the World Cup]. India has been very consistent in the last three-four years, but we have confidence having beaten them in the Champions Trophy when no one thought we would.”
And the Indian team captain on the Dambulla surface stated that “I don’t see this pitch having three spinners. I have played here in the past. It’s probably a three-fast-bowlers kind of pitch. Hardik Pandya does the role for us as a third seamer, and he is good enough to give us seven or eight overs.”