Sri Lanka were finally competitive in their matches with India on Tuesday but despite putting up a better show they could not get over the line and that means they go into the third ODI in Pallekele on Sunday 2-0 down in the series and knowing they could lose it should they not win the game.
India are in an excellent position in the series. They have won playing well and won when they were dreadful and if they can find another win here they will have the series wrapped up with two matches to spare.
After another disappointing effort with the bat in the second ODI, Sri Lanka almost rescued themselves. While they got themselves in a very dominant position they could not get over the line and that is not the first time we have seen them struggle to finish a side on the ropes off in 2017 so they need to be more ruthless.
One way to make things easier would be to bat a whole lot better and put up more significant totals but that is easier said than done against this Indian attack. They showed in the previous match that they don’t need too many more though so if they can eek out something approaching 250 they might be in the game.
I would think the previous match was the wake up call that India needed. It had been pretty easy for them on this tour up until then so a struggle over the line will have done them no harm at all, especially as they got over the line and didn’t lose. They say it is the mark of a good side when it wins without playing well.
India’s bowlers have been excellent in this series and as Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed in the previous match it is not just the bowling where they have played a part. His partnership with MS Dhoni to win the second game was as good as it gets given the pressure that they were under. He’ll hope he isn’t needed as much here.
Sri Lanka will be under another captain here as Upul Tharanga is suspended for a poor over rate. Chamara Kapugedera will take the reins. Lahiru Thirimanne and Dinesh Chandimal are likely to be recalled for Tharanga and the injured Danushka Gunathilaka.
India had an injury issue over Hardik Pandya in the last match but that is apparently just cramp so they are likely to be unchanged for this game.
The Indian opening pairing have dominated in both the Tests and the ODIs on this tour. The only time it really failed was in the first ODI and that was only because of a run out so that is going to be the focus of my bet for this match.
The line for the India opening partnership is 30.5 but I’m not sure that is high enough. In fact I don’t think it is. Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are going really well at the minute and I expect them to go past that total before their stand is broken.
Back India Opening Partnership – Over 30.5 runs for a 4/10 stake at 1.91 with Skybet