Sri Lanka and India will finish off their ODI series in Colombo on Friday when they meet for the third and final time. The series is already over from a competitive point of view but there are World Cup Super Series points on the line here.
India have already claimed the series victory when they won the second match which was a really competitive clash so they will be looking for a clean sweep to take into the upcoming T20s with them. Sri Lanka will want a win that should restore some confidence.
It was a much better display from Sri Lanka in the second match. It was probably the best display they have put in for a while actually but there were just signs towards the end of the game that they might have forgotten how to win in the tight moments. They looked to have India in the palm of their hands when they had them 116/5 chasing 276 but they allowed India back into the match without finishing them off and paid a heavy price.
The positive for Sri Lanka in that first match was that they batted well and put up a perfectly defendable total. There are signs that Sri Lanka are beginning to get a batting order that could take them where they want to go in this format of the game and now it is about churning out those displays consistently. If they do that the pressure on their bowlers will subside a little and they will come good at some point too.
In a lot of ways India will have taken more out of winning the second game than they did the first one. Their batting performance was terrible, there is no getting away from that, but for them to bat so badly and still win the match will make them feel almost invincible and will really help this second string side should they get the chance to showcase their talents in the main India ODI line up at any point in the future.
They will hope those batting displays are not something that are going to repeat themselves and they won’t do if someone is prepared to park their ego in the dressing room and bat the innings through sensibly. Nobody took responsibility for it in that second game and they almost paid the price. They should have paid the price but Sri Lanka let them off the hook. India’s bowlers could just tighten up a little bit as well.
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Sri Lanka look like they will be forced into one change with Kasun Rajitha out with an injury. Lahiru Kumara would be the natural replacement to him in the side. They might also decide now is the time to attempt to get Akila Dananjaya back in the side.
India might well use this final match of the series to have a look at those who haven’t featured for them yet. That would mean that the likes of Navdeep Saini and Sanju Samson could be the ones to be handed some game time.
Wanindu Hasaranga came to the party with the ball for Sri Lanka in the previous match and I think he has a big role to play for the Sri Lankans in this match as well. He took his first wicket in the powerplay in the second ODI and went on to take two more to finish with three wickets. He hasn’t yet fired with the bat in this series but he showed both in the West Indies and against England that he can certainly bat so you would think he will come good at some point.
He has a performance line for this match at 36.5 and with the pitches likely to only turn more with the amount of time the square is open to the elements, and him having the confidence of picking up three big wickets in the previous match, I like the over there. He could very well cover this with the ball alone but I think there are runs in him at some point as well and if they come in this match that should bump his total way beyond the required 36.5pts.
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