Beaten India need batsmen to fire against Sri Lanka
Their unbeaten run brought to a halt, India will look to get over the disappointment of a narrow defeat when they take on familiar sub-continental foes Sri Lanka in their second match of the tri-nation ODI series in Kingston on Tuesday.
The one-wicket defeat to the West Indies on Sunday ended India's nine-match winning streak during which they lifted the Champions Trophy in London last month.
India had won four Tests against Australia and five matches in the recent Champions Trophy on the trot.
Tested by the conditions, the famed Indian batting struggled and even though the team's bowlers did a commendable job, the hosts snatch victory by the thinnest of margins.
The Indians also had to contend with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni not taking the field during the West Indies’ innings due to the cramps he suffered while batting.
Image: Team India
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
Dhawan, Kohli found the going tough against West Indies
It is not clear whether Dhoni was merely dehydrated or laid low by a hamstring injury. In case it was the latter, he may not find enough time to recover and take the field on Tuesday.
On a pitch that did not exactly help stroke-making, Rohit Sharma shone with a patient half century.
Promoted to the role of opener during the Champions Trophy, Sharma seems at ease in the position and is expected to come good against the Lankans too.
However, the troika of Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik found the going tough in the tournament-opener and will have to adapt quickly to make an impact.
Suresh Raina, though, applied himself well for a 44 that was crucial to in taking India past 200.
The bowlers did their job commendably and could have pulled it off for India had they been given more runs to defend.
Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images
Good showing by India pace trio
The pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma got the breakthroughs whenever handed the ball and were ably supported by off-spinner R Ashwin, who also grabbed a couple of wickets.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were quite literally mauled in their opening match. They just about managed to post a little over 200 and then left to contend with a raging Chris Gayle, who unleashed his fury in the most devastating manner.
The shock of that defeat will be difficult to get over for the island nation and it will be interesting to see how they cope with the prospect of having to contain a strong Indian line-up.
Image: Umesh Yadav
Photographs: Michael Steele/Getty Images
Sri Lanka's over-reliance on Jayawardene, Sangakkara exposed
The over-reliance on senior batsmen Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara again stood exposed, as no batsman, apart Angelo Mathews, contributed significantly in the previous match.
The Lankans will have to strike as a unit as individual brilliance cannot shine through in every game.
Their bowlers too cut a sorry figure and did not have a clue on how to deal with Gayle.
Whether it was the pace duo of Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara or mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis, the Lankan bowlers did not have anything going for them and will look for a reversal of fortunes against India.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Jeevan Mendis, Ajantha Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Dilhara Lokuhettige and Shaminda Eranga.
Match starts 2000 IST.
Image: Mahela Jayawardene
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images