India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella(w), Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera(c), Sachith Pathirana, Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep
TOSS: Sri Lanka win toss and opt bowl first vs India at the PCA Stadium, Mohali
Debut for Washington Sundar. Head coach Ravi Shastri has handed over the cap.
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Rarely does one get to witness the scoreboard reading 29/7 in a One-day International, especially in the batting-friendly conditions that India offers. But this happened in Dharamsala and the Indian batsmen were blown away by Suranga Lakmal and the rest of the Sri Lankan speedsters. This prompted the Indian batsmen to put in that much extra a day before the second One-dayer between the two teams at the IS Bindra PCA Stadium here.
The practice wickets at the nets also had a tinge of green, so that the exact conditions that the players would get in the middle could be simulated. Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan were the first to go. The experienced duo batted for more than 40 minutes on the four different wickets. One was for throw-downs, one for the spinners, and two for fast bowlers — where on one the Indian pacers bowled, while on the other local speedsters tested the Indian batsmen.
A while after, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas Iyer joined Dhawan and Sharma. The four rotated among themselves, with each getting about 15 minutes on one practice wicket.
Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey also got their share of practice before MS Dhoni came in for his bit. Dhoni, who was the saving grace for the Indian team in Dharamsala, got some of those booming lofted shots going. One of them narrowly missed a press photographer who was trying to capture the former Indian captain in full flow.
Local boy Siddarth Kaul got to bowl for a considerable length of time and coach Ravi Shastri was seen keeping a keen eye on him. According to sources in the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA), Shastri also asked a local official about Kaul.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is planning to send some domestic fast bowlers along with the chosen five —Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Jasprit Bumrah —to South Africa, so that the Indian batters get adequate practice before the first Test in Cape Town. The BCCI had, earlier, cancelled the only practice game before the first Test and decided to have only quality nets sessions.
The Sri Lankans are on a high and a win here would give them an unlikely series triumph. Lankan skipper Thisara Perera wanted a Dharamsala-like performance from his team in Mohali. “It is a good opportunity to win the series. Not many teams have won series in India. We want to do something special like we did in Dharamsala,” he said on the eve of the match.
This team without Kohli, Ashwin, Jadeja and Ishant has a fragile look.
The pitch has a tinge of green and an 11.30 morning start, coupled with overcast conditions, will surely influence the decision of either captain at the toss. Perera, though, just like in Dharamsala, felt the track was batting friendly. “It looks like a good batting track,” he said. There were overnight rains on Tuesday and that means the wicket is bound to retain some moisture.
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The match day, though, has no rain predictions; although, it is going to remain gloomy, cloudy and murky throughout the day. For the Lankans, it is a chance to get hold of a rare series victory. The Indians, on the other hand, will look to avenge the loss in Dharamsala.
Source : timesofindia