India, led by Shikhar Dhawan in the absence of regular superstar skipper Virat Kohli, have driven home the fact that even a total of 262 cannot stop them, making light of the run chase in the awesome of 263 for 3 wickets stroll in the park triumph in the 3-match opener on a batting friendly track at the R. Premadasa Stadium. Indeed, India demonstrated that even without Kohli and Rohit Sharma that it has in its ranks champion latent talent to draw from to get the better of Sri Lanka by a stretch.
Therein, Sri Lanka face quite a daunting task of bridging an obvious distinct gap between the two sides of a rampant Indian side in a rock hard insulation of the superior when Dasun Shanaka leads his charges out in a must win second day-night contest at the same venue today. Clearly, the Sri Lankan camp faces the harsh reality of shedding the defeatist hoodoo that has long bugged them. From Bangladesh to England it has loomed largely to tasting defeat in the own familiar backyard. Thus, the name of the game is for a quick fix answer to stop India’s gallop going by the overwhelming result in favour of Dhawan and his men.
Of course, to be fair by this new look Sri Lankan outfit 262 for 9 in 50 overs was a praiseworthy one-day total where one-day cricket has witnessed sides defending much lower totals successfully. But it boiled down to a superior Indian outfit simply racing to victory in herculean style. The Indian example of a foursome of new faces in Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, Manish Pandey and Suriyakumar Yadav in that order contributing their mite to doing the job for their side anchored by the experienced Shikhar Dhawan himself in a new role of leading the side was certainly a reflection of change instant cricket has undergone. The characteristically aggressive Dhawan displayed the tenacity of taking responsibility in measured stride playing around those four frontline batters and going on to the end with an unbeaten 86.
Indeed, change in the sophistication of stroke play dexterity in the run making industry and as much controlled aggression that cricket is all about temperament. It was in that yardstick that the Indians made the difference – for all the spectacular style in chasing quite a big target not getting carried away. Comparatively, that is the essence that separated the two sides of a studious professional approach. In that backdrop, the Lankan camp with the expert tutelage will need to get back to the drawing board of how to going about it to outclassing the high riding Indians with particular emphasis in the batting department. It will be a tall order given a highly balanced Indian bowling attack, but the bottom line being all about winning, the Lankan camp will need to do their homework how to get about it. Similarly, the bowling department will need to be reassessed if they are to stop the Indian run mechanism.