It will be in a literal victory thrown out of the window from an in the box seat domination sighting victory disintegration culminating in India’s great escape, Sri Lanka is consequently driven into a start all over again scenario victory quest going into the third and final ODI against India on Thursday at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
Therein, for Dasun Shanaka and his team it will be a questing in search of that long eluding taste of victory that unlike in the recent past was there for the taking but evaporated due to a breakdown in the bowling department from a stranglehold on the Indians after the early strikes by Wanindu Hasaranga. Lakshan Sandakan taking a bad beating from Chahar who staged India’s fight back was central to Sri Lanka’s precipitation must necessarily serve as a wakeup call to the Lankan camp. Main strike bowlers Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and new find Chamika Karunaratne who had troubled the Indians early on with extra speed not been brought on did let the eighth wicket pair of Chahar and Kumar off the hook. Whether the likes of new find Praveen Jayawickrama or Ramesh Mendis will be considered to beef up the bowling department is interesting.
The consequent loss undid what was a remarkable comeback by Sri Lanka’s batsmen in posting a defendable total of 275. The high point of it was the new look pay off of the batting cast coming good. It marked a significant reward to an experimentation that had started from Bangladesh to England to back home into the groove of getting the right set in that selector gamble on the rebuilding curve. There was young left-hander Charith Asalanka raising his hands delivering signaling his arrival by his 65-run top score. From Tuesday’s defeat there several positives. Opening batsman Avishka Fernando came good with a fine half century while the left-handed Minod Bhanuka’s fiery 36 marked a positive 77-run opening partnership. The rest of the back-up line-up does look good with some proven batsmen in vice-captain Dhananjaya de Silva, skipper Dasun Shanaka and Wanindu Hasaranga while the arrival of Bhanuka Rajapaksa manning the No.3 slot looks positive despite falling for a first ball duck to a peach of a delivery having signaled his entry to ODI cricket getting off the mark with a first ball six scoring 24. A repeat performance by the Lankan batsmen will be needed to stall an Indian clean sweep.
While Charith Asalanka has driven the message of the right temperament to run grafting , the Indians vulnerability against spin has been exposed and the presence of a consistent back up spinner for Hasaranga going into the final contest could make the difference.