Courtesy of a solid performance with the bat, India registered a phenomenal victory against Sri Lanka in the first ODI of the series in Guwahati. Skipper Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill gave a perfect start, after which Virat Kohli capitalised by hitting his 73rd international century. India eventually set a massive target on board, which the Lankan batters failed to chase as they lost by 67 runs.
Meanwhile, even though India registered a massive win, there are some concerns regarding the bowling unit. Yuzvendra Chahal failed to make a mark, giving away 58 runs while Mohammed Shami conceded 67 runs in his nine overs. Even though Umran Malik managed to pick three wickets, he leaked runs and that needs to improve as India eye to win their third ODI World Cup.
India’s Predicted playing XI for the second ODI against Sri Lanka:
Openers – Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma (C)
Despite scoring a double-century in his last ODI match, Ishan Kishan was dropped from the playing XI as the team management wanted to give Shubman Gill an extended run. The youngster repaid the faith by scoring 70 off 60 in the first game. If he manages to keep up with the form, Gill can eventually cement his position as an opener for the upcoming ODI World Cup.
In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit needed to take responsibility and that is what he did in the previous match. The skipper led by example as he scored 83 off 67 and gave India a perfect start in the last match. If he manages to keep up with the form, India will be in a much more comfortable spot going to the World Cup.
Middle Order – Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK)
Virat Kohli is arguably one of the greatest players in this format and thus, India counts on him every time he walks out to bat. With two back-to-back centuries in ODIs, the 34-year-old will be confident of doing well in the upcoming matches. He was adjudged the Player of the Match in the first match for his century and would want to repeat a similar kind of performance.
Shreyas Iyer finished2022 as India’s leading run-scorer in ODIs. However, in the first ODI against Sri Lanka, the 28-year-old failed to score big despite getting a good start. He scored 28 off 24 before getting out to Dhananjaya de Silva. Even though he has proven himself in ODI cricket, Shreyas can’t relax as there are many players waiting in the wings to replace him in the playing XI. Thus, he needs to do well in the second and keep up with that to eventually cement his position in the playing XI.
After having an average year with the bat in 2022, KL Rahul was removed as India’s vice-captain in the 50-over format. His position in the playing XI too was under the scanner but batting at number five, the wicketkeeper-batter managed to do his part in the first ODI. He scored 39 off 29 and played some good shots, however, he needs to convert those starts.
All-rounders – Hardik Pandya (vc), Axar Patel
After proving his credentials as a leader, team management promoted Hardik Pandya as the vice-captain of the side. The all-rounder has done reasonably well in the T20 format but was average in the first ODI. He scored 14 runs with the bat and conceded 33 runs from the six overs for one wicket of Chamika Karunaratne.
Axar Patel was phenomenal in the T20I series but couldn’t replicate the same in the first ODI. The southpaw scored only nine runs with the bat and conceded 58 runs in 10 overs. He also failed to pick any wicket in the process. Once Ravindra Jadeja will be available, Axar might find himself on the bench. Thus, to change that, he needs to step up with quality performances on a consistent basis.
Bowlers – Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Yuzvendra Chahal
The trio of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik was decent in the previous match. Siraj was economical and picked up two wickets while Umran picked up three wickets, leaking 57 runs in his eight overs. Mohammed Shami, playing his first match after a long time, looked rusty, however, the veteran pacer has the ability to turn things around. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, he needs to lead the bowling unit and he is expected to get better as the conditions often suit the pacers at Eden Gardens.
On the other hand, this could be Yuzvendra Chahal’s last opportunity to prove himself. With Kuldeep Yadav waiting in the wings, the leg-spinner can’t afford to produce lacklustre performances. Thus, he needs to fix the issue and come back stronger in the second match of the series.
Predicted playing XI of India – Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik