India were ruthless against Sri Lanka in the first ODI, beating them all hands down. That has been the story of India's tour of Sri Lanka, who were outplayed by the visitors in the Test series, and the same is being witnessed in the limited overs format. Virat Kohli's men will be looking to take the lead as they face the home team in the second ODI in Pallekele on Thursday.
One look at this Indian team, and they have all their bases covered. They look superior in all departments of the game, including the spin attack despite India resting their frontline spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. India will be upbeat and come with another scintillating performance to take 2-0 lead in the five-match series, and they are favourites for that as well.
After having picked up an impressive win, one does not see Kohli changing the team for the second ODI. India needs to play the similar level of cricket, which they came up with during the first match, with batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli scoring big runs and bowlers taking wickets at regular intervals.
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India are playing some wonderful cricket. They are a confident bunch of cricketers, who are on top of their game as well. Kohli is also looking to give players like Axar Patel more chance in the series, with the 2019 World Cup in sight.
"(Yuzvendra) Chahal and Axar are guys who haven't got many opportunities so we want to test them out. It's all about giving opportunities to people which we feel will not hamper our plans in any way and at the same time, it's about giving them exposure at international cricket," Kohli said.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are a team on transition. They have not found their feet after the stalwarts like Kumar Sangakkara have retired from the sport. But, that cannot be an excuse, each and every nation goes through that phase, and the current players led by Upul Tharanga needs to deliver in the second ODI.
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Sri Lanka will need to play all around cricket in the second ODI else it will be disastrous for them. Their supporters also seem to be have been frustrated with their team's show in the first ODI. As a result, their team bus was stopped and fans also shouted slogans. These fans deserve more as they have seen Sri Lanka decline for some time now.
The likes of Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella need to score runs alongside Angelo Mathews and Tharanga. If not, they might succumb to another defeat. Lasith Malinga also needs to shoulder major responsibility and inspire the younger set of the bowlers to shine for the home team.
Sri Lanka need to take their cricket to another level to compete against India in the second ODI. Can they do that in Pallekele?
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Where to watch live
India vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI is scheduled for 2.30 pm local time, 2.30 pm IST, 10 am BST, 5 am ET. Here are the live TV and streaming options.
India: TV: Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 3 HD, Sony Six, Sony Six HD. Live Streaming: Sonyliv.
Sri Lanka and Indian sub-continent: TV: Sony Ten.
South Africa: TV: SuperSport. Live Streaming: SuperSport Video
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.