India will be looking to take an unbeatable lead in the five match ODI series against Sri Lanka when they play the third ODI against the Lankans tomorrow at Kandy. The Indian team, after sweeping the test series 3-0 in a show of overpowering force, have already won the first two ODIs. Of these two, the last win was at the Pallekele International Cricket ground.on Thursday when former skipper MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar combined for a 100 runs eighth-wicket partnership to bring India back from the brink after the top order had been bowled out to leave India at 131 for 7. The 231 run chase in the second ODI was seemingly precipitated by the fiddling with the batting order, after the skipper Kohli had indicated that giving youngsters a chance would be a priority.
India had a great start with Dhawan and Rohit Sharma putting on a century stand, but Kohli sent in KL Rahul and Kedhar Jadhav instead of himself, and the experiment failed when both failed to judge Akila Dananjay’s googlies well. The question then will be if Kohli will experiment again with the lineup, or will look to close out the series first by winning the Kandy game. Also a concern for the captain ahead of the third game is match fitness of in-form all rounder Hardik Pandya, who wore a light strap ahead of the second game on his left knee and then pulled up with pain in the same region. He had to leave the field on three separate occasions during the game, and the team management has repeated that the problem was cramping and not a calf injury. However, we may still have to wait and watch if Pandya will be a part of the squad in the third ODI.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.
Sri Lanka: Chamara Kapugedara (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanna, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Upul Tharanga (for fifth ODI).