The second ODI between Sri Lanka and India takes place on Tuesday with the two sides once again battling it out in Colombo. They battle it out for World Cup Super Series on the line but the series could also be won here too.
India head into the contest knowing that if they come out on top they will have won the series with a match to spare while Sri Lanka will therefore know that they have to win this match in order to force a decider.
I think it is fair to say that the Sri Lanka effort in the opening ODI was a strong improvement on what we had seen prior to it. To be fair, the bar wasn’t exactly high in that regard but any improvement should never be discouraged. It still wasn’t good enough against a second string Indian side so they are going to need to come up with a better effort, but the fact that they did improve should be taken as a positive.
Although they didn’t post a high enough score, the Sri Lanka batting did put up a better effort and if they can take some confidence from that and just lift the tempo a little more through the middle of the innings they might not be far away from being competitive. The disappointment would have come in the form of the bowling, which was very good in England recently but which went the distance in the opening match.
When you consider that the team India have in this series is effectively an IPL select team we probably shouldn’t have been surprised with the high octane cricket that it delivered. They were all action with the ball, with their seamers probably a little too expensive to be ideal, and then with the bat they delivered the sort of brutal performance we would see in the Indian Premier League. You would think there is natural improvement to come having played together for the first time which bodes well for them.
The only real area of improvement for India from that first match is how their seamers bowl. They went after wickets in the opening game but ended up being a little expensive. There is nothing necessarily wrong with that but with the spinners on top of their game it might be better just building pressure and letting the spinners reap the rewards. There was certainly nothing wrong with India with the bat in hand.
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Isuru Udana has generally been a T20 specialist for Sri Lanka and after an expensive couple of overs in the first game he might be reduced to that role once again with Lahiru Kumara or Kasun Rajitha waiting in the wings.
India will need to decide whether to win the series and then make changes or whether to change now and potentially giving them a better chance to come out on top. If they go down the latter route Navdeep Saini could come into the attack.
The first match between these two was fairly high scoring both in runs and boundaries and I think the latter could be a trend that continues for a couple of reasons. The first one is that this isn’t the biggest ground in the world so there is no reason why players won’t keep hitting the boundary. The other is that India should be even better in this match after not playing for a while so there is improvement to come from them, so should they bat first they will hit plenty of boundaries.
There were 54 boundaries in that first match so the 54.5 boundaries line for this match is probably about right except as I mentioned above I do think there is improvement to come in India here. I actually think the Sri Lankans will take some confidence from the way that they batted in the opening game and might well find some more boundaries themselves. In a match where most of the markets look to be priced up about right, this one might have a line that can be covered so I’ll take the over here.
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