India vs SriLanka 2nd ODI India’s Report Card
You did not need to be an MS Dhoni fan to stand up and applaud the innings he played with the writing on the wall at the Pallekele International Stadium on Thursday as India chased down the target of 231 against Sri Lanka with 5 overs to spare to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series.
Here is Cricketnext’s report card as we analyse the performance of every player
After failing with the bat in the first ODI, Rohit Sharma came back to life in the second with a blistering half-century
to provide India with the ideal start in the chase. Rohit’s 45-ball 54 included five fours and three huge sixes to provide the early impetus required by the visitors.
However, soon after completing his 32nd fifty, Rohit perished at a team score of 109 and that brought the hosts right back into the match. The India opener would be disappointed that he was not able to convert such a promising start into a big innings.
Shikhar Dhawan continued his glorious run of form in Sri Lanka as he built a solid 109-run opening stand with Rohit in the chase. After slamming a stunning century in the first game in Dambulla, Dhawan backed up with a brilliant 49 in the second ODI.
But similar to Rohit, Dhawan too couldn’t convert his good start into a big one as he perished at soon after his opening partner. After the dismissal of Dhawan, India lost many wickets in a heap which put then on the back-foot.
KL Rahul didn’t get a chance to bat in the first ODI due to the heroics of India’s top-order. But same wasn’t the case in the second ODI as the visitors were in a spot of bother as they had few wickets in quick successions.
The stage was perfectly set for Rahul to go out there and bail the Indian team out of trouble. However, the Karnataka star couldn’t make the most of the opportunity and was dismissed for a paltry 4.
Kedar Jadhav had an unforgettable day with both bat and ball. During Sri Lanka batting, Jadhav bowled 4.4 overs and gave away 32 runs, without picking even a single wicket.
While during the chase, he was sent up the order by Kohli but he failed to repay the faith as he was dismissed off the third ball itself that he faced.
In trying to give some game time to the middle order, Virat Kohli promoted the likes of KL Rahul and Kedav Jadhav
ahead of himself in the chase. But the decision proved to disastrous as the untested Indian middle-order fell like nine pins in front of an young Lankan spinner.
Kohli himself couldn’t contribute much with the bat as he was blown away by Akila Dananjaya’s magical delivery for just 4 runs. Although, Dhoni and Bhuvi later took India over the line with some inspired batting, but at one point India were staring down the barrel due to the change in batting order.
Dhoni once again showed the world that he might be past his prime, but he is still the best India have got when it comes to snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar outscored him, but then, had Dhoni
not held one end up, Sri Lanka would have definitely roared home. In the end, it was the unbeaten 100-run partnership between the two that saw the Indians end up on the victorious side.
Also, Dhoni affected a brilliant stumping of Danushka Gunathilaka that helped him equal Kumar Sangakkara’s record of most number of stumpings in the 50-over format (99).
All-rounder Hardik Pandya too wasn’t at his best according to his own high standards in this match, either with the ball or with the bat. Pandya bowled 5.2 overs in the match and managed to pick just one wicket.
While with the bat, Pandya tried to hit the ball out of he stadium by coming down the track but failed to connect and was stumped off the bowling of Dananjaya. Such was shot wasn’t the need of the hour considering India had lost wickets in a heap at that point of time.
Axar Patel is slowly and steadily coming onto his own with every passing match on the international stage. Although, Axar didn’t pick three wickets like he did in the first match, he managed to keep the Lankan batsmen quiet and built enough pressure for other bowlers to do the job for the team.
Axar bowled his full quota of 10 overs in which he gave away just 30 runs and also picked up the crucial wicket of Angelo Mathews.
India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a tough day in the office as far as bowling is concerned. Bhuvi proved to be the most expensive Indian bowler on the day as he gave away 53 runs in 10 overs without scalping a single wicket.
However, he made up for his with his batting as he slammed his maiden ODI fifty to take India over the line in dramatic circumstances. Bhuvi and Dhoni put on 100 runs for the 8th wicket, which is highest at this position in ODIs for India.
Chahal once again had a great outing with the ball as the Lankan batsman are still not able to pick his variations. Chahal wreaked havoc early on in the Lanka innings as he got rid of two top order batsmen.
First it was Gunathilaka, who failed to spot the wrong one and was stumped by MS Dhoni. And then, it was Kusal Mendis who was trapped plumb by the tweaker. Chahal ended the innings with figures of 43/2 in 10 overs.
Jasprit Bumrah is regarded as one India’s top pacers in the limited-over format of the game. And his performance in the Pallekele ODI attests the same. Bumrah was taken to task by Niroshan Dickwella early on in the innings, but he soon found his rhythm and dismissed the opener (31 off 24 balls) who stated on a flying note for his team.
Bumrah them picked three three wickets in the final few over of the innings and in-form batsmen like Milinda Siriwardana (58) and Chamara Kapugedera (40) were sent back in the hut before they
could hurt the visitors further.
In total, Bumrah picked up 4 wickets in the match and played a more than crucial role in restricting the hosts to a mere 236.