India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI

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India won the opening ODI clash against Sri Lanka by 67 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series at home on January 10. Virat Kohli stole the headlines as he smashed his 45th ODI century to kickstart the start year 2023 on a positive note. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill also registered big fifties as India posted a big total of 373/7 while batting first at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati.

Sri Lankan batters struggled under the pressure of chasing a big target and never threatened with their approach. They were struggling at 206/8 after some impressive spells from Indian pacers Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik. But captain Dasun Shanaka played a memorable knock to avoid losing all ten wickets. He smashed 108* off 88 balls to record his second international century, but Sri Lanka managed to score only 306/8 in 50 overs.

Talking Points from IND vs SL, 1st ODI:

Virat Kohli starts 2023 with a hundred:

After failing to score a century in almost three years, Virat Kohli has now scored three hundreds in the last five months. He started with a careful approach as India lost both openers in a quick succession. But he changed the approach after his fifty and dominated the game with 12 fours and a six. His drive for singles and doubles was clearly on display as he smashed his 73rd international hundred. 

Sri Lanka lost but Dasun Shanaka wins hearts:

The Sri Lankan captain continues his brilliant run against India with an admirable 108 off 88 balls knock. He pulled off an unbeaten 100-run partnership with Kasun Rajitha (9 off 19 balls) to drag Sri Lanka from 206/8 in 38 overs to 306 in 50 overs to avoid a big embarrassing defeat.

Indian bowlers failed to take all 10 wickets:

The Indian bowlers failed to take ten wickets despite some early impressive spells. Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik were excellent with their initial spells with combined five wickets. But Umran conceded 25 runs from his last two overs while Mohammed Shami, the most experienced bowler among India’s bowling unit, failed to make any impact on his return from injury. Sri Lanka managed to surpass the 300-run total in the last over, which highlights the worrying signs for India’s bowling attack.

Losing Captain, Dasun Shanaka said:

The start from India’s batters and our bowlers didn’t use the new ball well. Their bowlers used the swing very well. I think there was a plan, but the bowlers didn’t execute it. We need to stick to the stump line and use the slower balls. I think I’m doing the basics well. I think in ODIs, I’m not doing that well and T20Is I might have to go up the order.

Winning Captain, Rohit Sharma said:

We started off really well and to get that total was a great effort from all the batters. The platform was set to come out and play freely. I thought we could’ve bowled slightly better, but don’t want to be too critical of it although the dew was not so much. We bowled well as a unit and if you want to win games like this, everyone has to come to the party. There are some areas we need to look at as a group and again it’s a team sport. No, I mean I had no idea Shami did that. Again, he’s batting on 98 and the way he batted was brilliant. Cannot get him out like that and wanted to get him out the way we wanted to get him out. Hats off to him.

Player of the Match, Virat Kohli said:

I don’t think there was anything different. My preparation and intent always stay the same and I just kept backing my intent. As I said during the mid-innings break, it was very close to the template I play with. I also understood we needed an extra 25-30 runs. The only thing I learnt was desperation doesn’t get you anywhere. You have to play for the right reasons and almost play every game like your last and just be happy about it. The game is going to move on and I’m happy with my space.

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