Dambulla: Shikhar Dhawan is on a roll here and the opener feels that staying positive and playing shots have helped him continue the good form that has now seen him score three hundreds in Sri Lanka. While he hit two majestic hundreds in the three-match Test series, he scored another blistering century in the first ODI against the Lankans on Sunday in Dambulla.
"Things have been going well for me. I have only kept my focus on the processes and not on the results. The mental freedom helps me keep confidence in myself. You know that you have scored runs and can express yourself freely. I was just positive and was looking to score runs. I just wanted to play on the merit of the ball and keep my focus on," Dhawan said after winning the Man of the Match award.
India skipper Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan took over exactly from where the Indian spinning trio of Axar Patel, Kedar Jadhav and Yuzvendra Chahal had left as the visitors thrashed Sri Lanka by 9 wickets in the opening game of the 5-match ODI series at the Dambulla International Stadium on Sunday. Losing 9 wickets for 77 runs never helps and the fact that it was a batting paradise only made matters worse for the Lankans as Dhawan stole the show and capitalised on his purple patch to register his 11th ODI century.
Most importantly, Kohli looked just as delightful during his knock of unbeaten 82. In fact, it was only in the later stages of the India innings that Kohli matched Dhawan shot for shot even as the opener scored the fastest century for an Indian against Sri Lanka while chasing — 71 balls. He beat none other than skipper Kohli who took 76 balls in the historic chase at Hobart in 2012.
Chasing 217 was never going to be a tough job for the Indian batting line-up, but it was the consummate ease with which both Dhawan and Kohli went about the chase is what made it so special. While Dhawan was severe on the bowlers, Kohli was happy to run the singles and hit the bad balls to the boundary. While Dhawan was dropped twice (87 and 118) it didn’t really matter much as the damage had already been done.
Coming in to bat with the score reading 23/1 after Rohit Sharma (4) was unlucky to be run out as the bat fell off his hand and the throw from Chamara Kapugedera hit the stumps. But Sri Lanka’s joy was short-lived as Kohli joined Dhawan in the middle and the two put on 197 for the second wicket as India romped home with 21 overs still to be bowled. It was only poetic justice that Dhawan hit the final boundary off Wanidu Hasaranga’s bowling. The Lankan players almost looked relieved that the game had finally ended as the Indian duo was literally toying with the bowlers.