India look to test bench strength; Sri Lanka eye consolation


Colombo: Having already wrapped up the ODI series with a thrilling win over Sri Lanka in the last game, India will look to complete a whitewash in the third ODI at the R. Premadasa Stadium on Friday (July 23).

After registering a comprehensive win in the opening game, the Men in Blue had to dig deep chasing a target of 276. The visitors were reeling at 193/7 in the 36th over before Deepak Chahar scored his maiden ODI fifty enroute to an unbeaten 69 taking the game away from the Lankan bowlers.

Chahar, together with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, stitched an unbeaten run-a-ball 84-run stand for the eighth wicket ensuring his side’s claiming of series. India also registered their 93rd ODI win over Sri Lanka with — most for any team against a single opponent in this format surpassing Australia (92 vs New Zealand) and Pakistan (92 vs Sri Lanka).

On Friday however, the visitors will look to try out their reserve bench. It will be interesting to see whether the likes of Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad get their maiden ODI caps. Sanju Samson is also available for inclusion.

As for Sri Lanka, with the T20 series coming after this, they will look to finish off on a positive note. Youngster Wanindu Hasaranga was the standout performer last time around and will be hoping to do the same on Friday as well. Despite their young age and the suffering of loss, the side showed promise.

Coach Micky Arthur though looked in anger after the last game, but will probably be satisfied with the intent his young side has shown. Besides that, Avishka Fernando who scored a fifty in the last game has emerged as a reliable option at the top but the main concern for the hosts is how they keep their temperament going.


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