New Delhi: India take on Sri Lanka in the second ODI of the five-match series on Thursday, and when the two teams will take to the field, the national anthems won't be played for them ahead of the start of the clash in Pallekele.
As a mark of respect, teams stand in line ahead of the start of a match and proudly sing their respective National Anthems. However, this won't be the case in the rest of this ODI series. The reason for this is that Sri Lanka management have come up with a new rule of singing National Anthem only during the first match of format during a series.
"We have adopted the practice of singing National Anthem only at the beginning of each format of the game," Sri Lanka cricket team's media manager Dinesh Ratnasingham was quoted as saying by Pakobserver.com.
"The practice of singing National Anthem was followed in the first ODI and again it will be sung at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo before the commencement of the only T-20 match on this tour. Rest of the venues will have immediate start of the match without the Anthem Ceremony," Ratnasingham added.
Meanwhile, the Men in Blue will look to consolidate their position in the series as a win in this match will put them 2-0 up, with three matches to go. Riding on a century from Shikhar Dhawan and a brilliant unbeaten 82 by skipper Virat Kohli, India thrashed the hosts by 9 wickets in the first ODI.
Such has been Sri Lanka's performance that supporters stopped the team bus demanding answers for a shoddy show. Chief coach Nic Pothas pointed out in no uncertain terms that all is not well within the team, indirectly pointing fingers at the interference from team manager Asanka Gurusinha.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (c), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Malinda Pushpakumara, Akila Dananjaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Thisara Perera, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Dushmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.