Commentary: India Vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI

India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd ODI

India won by 4 wkts

SL - 215 (39.4)
IND - 219/6 (43.2)

CRR:  5.05

Player of the Match


India seal the series with a game to go. The top three did the bulk of the scoring in Guwahati. They didn't click today but Rahul played the anchor's role to perfection with the middle and lower order to take his side home. On the other hand, Sri Lanka's record away from home continues to worsen and they have plenty of issues to address in this format. While they were batted out of the contest in the first ODI, their batters let them down today. Can they end the tour with a win or will the Indians inflict a whitewash? Join us on Sunday for the third and the final ODI at Thiruvananthapuram. Until then, it's goodbye from Abhinand Raghavendran on behalf of Ramakrishnan MS, Saurabh Shankar and Siva.

Kuldeep Yadav | Player of the Match: I'm happy with my performance. Whatever opportunities I get, I try to do my best and back my abilities. When you play, you have to be focused while you can be relaxed when you aren't in the 11. At the moment, I'm really enjoying my bowling. However, team combinations are important, I don't think too much about it, just focused on doing my best when the chances come. You need to keep innovating, you can't keep bowling at the same pace. I've worked on my batting, I keep my focus on that whenever I don't get a game. In the last one year, I've worked a lot also on my fitness, all credit to the NCA coaches. It has helped me get into a rhythm and be more aggressive. Yuzi has always supported me, obviously he knew how the batters play having played the earlier games so he keeps advising me.

Rohit Sharma | India captain: It was a close game but games like these teach you a lost. We had to build an innings under pressure. KL has been batting at five for a long period of time now and it gives us the depth. Gives you the confidence as well at the top of the order for us to go and bat freely. It was a good display of batsmanship. It'll be nice to have a left-hander, but I don't believe too much into it. Ideally we would like to have a left-hander, but we know the quality of the right-handers who are out there in the middle. They can tackle situations when put under pressure. (Changes for the final ODI?) We haven't thought about it yet, once we get there we'll have a look at the pitch and have a look at some of our guys. There are 3 ODIs coming up against New Zealand as well, so we need to keep the guys fresh. We've got a long season now and we need to keep everything in mind. If needed, we'll make some changes. For him (Kuldeep Yadav) to come back and play the game he played today, it was fantastic. Literally got us back in the game. They were batting run-a-ball and Kuldeep, as we've seen quite often, comes and gets the wicket. He's quite confident as a bowler right now and it definitely augurs well with the team.

Dasun Shanaka | Sri Lanka captain: Not enough runs on the board. We got a good start with the bat and then lost a few wickets. We discussed that it was a very flat deck. 300+ was the score to set, but Kuldeep bowled really well in the middle phase. Batsmen not getting starts is a big concern. We had a chance because the ball was moving. I asked the fast bowlers to stick to their basics and move the ball.

There's a laser light show happening at the Eden Gardens after India's series win. We'll continue to wait for the presentations....

STAT: Most defeats in...
ODIs: 437 by Sri Lanka (goes past India's 436 defeats)
T20Is: 94 by Sri Lanka

Most defeats vs an opponent in...
ODIs: 95 by Sri Lanka vs India (equals 95 defeats by New Zealand vs Australia)
T20Is: 19 by Sri Lanka vs India

KL Rahul: I won't say it was a flat wicket, but I can't say it was impossible to bat as well. It was quite a sporty wicket. When we started I thought it was a 280-300 wicket. It wasn't moving much, spongy bounce, apart from that there was not much. We bowled really well to bowl them get out for 215. Again the start was brisk from the openers. They (Sri Lanka) put up a good fight. Got the early breakthroughs and put us under pressure. Challenging game, we can be proud of the way we fought. (On handling Hasaranga in the first game vs today) We were batting first in Guwahati and the wicket was really good. We were trying to get the extra 20-25 runs, so no matter who the bowler is, you are looking to attack and things tend to happen. When I went in to bat last game we were in a comfortable position. We lost 4 wickets today, so it was important to soak in the pressure and ensure their main bowlers don't get into the game early. We didn't need to attack today. (About batting at No. 5) One thing I really enjoy is that you don't rush back to bat (compared to the role of an opener). You can put your feet up, have a shower, have a good meal and react to the situation. If the team requires me to bat at a certain strike rate I try and do it to the best of my ability. More often than not just try and do the job the team wants has been my mindset. At No. 5 you will be facing spin, I like the ball coming on to the bat. Ro (Rohit) is pretty clear that's where he wants me to bat (No. 5) and conveyed that to me

In reply, the Indian openers came out with an aggressive intent and were mostly eyeing boundaries however both of them were dismissed within a span of four deliveries and India were reduced to 41 for 2 in the sixth over. Virat Kohli got off the mark with an authoritative pull shot but was nipped out by Kumara off the very next delivery. Although the scoring rate was above 6 RPO, India lost their top three inside the first powerplay. Rajitha, in his second spell, trapped Shreyas Iyer lbw. At 86/4, the game was delicately poised. That's when KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya joined hands and opted for a conservative approach. Took no undue risks, batted sensibly, punished anything loose and steadied the ship with a half-century stand. Karunaratne broke the 75-run partnership with India still needing 55 runs to win. Axar batted positively and perished looking to play a big shot. Rahul, meanwhile, remained calm till the end and took his team over the line.

20:47 Local Time, 15:17 GMT, 20:47 IST: India were expected to chase this modest target comfortably but they've been made to toil hard. Sri Lanka strengthened their bowling and it was a spirited performance from their bowlers but they didn't have enough runs on the board. It was the Indian bowlers who set up this win as they bowled out their opponents for 215. Kuldeep Yadav triggered the collapse with a three-fer which saw the Lankans lose five wickets for 24 runs. Three successive 25+ partnerships from the lower order SL batsmen ensured that they crossed the 200-run mark but they got skittled out inside 40 overs.

43.2 Kumara to Kuldeep Yadav, FOUR, back of a length delivery, Kuldeep Yadav stands tall and flat-bats it straight of mid-off. The ball slowly dribbles away to hit the fence. India win the series with a 4-wicket victory!

Kumara runs in ... and ... doesn't deliver the ball. FYI, Rahul was inside the crease at the non-striker's end

43.1 Kumara to Kuldeep Yadav, no run, moves leg-side and misses the cut

IND: 215-6 after 43 overs

42.6 Rajitha to Rahul, FOUR, bouncer, Rahul pulls hard and gets a fat top-edge that flies over the keeper's head. Scores level!

42.5 Rajitha to Rahul, no run, bouncer, Rahul ducks under it

42.4 Rajitha to Rahul, FOUR, cuts in off the deck and cramps the batsman for room. Too close to be cutting and Rahul gets a thick inside edge that eludes the sticks and runs away to fine leg for four! Streaky but India won't mind

42.3 Rajitha to Rahul, no run, driven straight to mid-off

42.2 Rajitha to Rahul, FOUR, fuller and straighter, quick hands from Rahul who flicks it away through backward square leg. The man in the deep dives to his right but can't stop it from hitting the fence. Just nine runs needed now

42.1 Rajitha to Rahul, no run, off-speed ball, a low full toss and that's been pushed back at the bowler

IND: 203-6 after 42 overs

41.6 Kumara to Kuldeep Yadav, FOUR, that's a top shot from Kuldeep Yadav! Makes room by backing away and cuts this short ball up and over backward point

41.5 Kumara to Kuldeep Yadav, no run, fuller in length, blocked