India win toss and chose to bowl against Sri Lanka

Pothas hit out after Sri Lanka, who suffered a 3-0 Test whitewash at home against India last week, went down by nine wickets to the visitors in the first of five one-day internationals in Dambulla on Sunday.

If the home fans had hoped the change in format would bring a change in fortunes, they were left bitterly disappointed as India breezed to a nine-wicket win in the first One-day global in Dambulla, chasing down a 217-run target in under 29 overs.

The Asian side are now playing India at home and suffered a three-nil defeat in the Test series and also lost heavily in the first ODI of a five-match series.

“At 139-1 (in Sri lanka’s innings) we surely had a bit to think about but again the way the bowler came back into the game and got us those breakthroughs along with our fielding really made the difference”, said Kohli.

India found themselves in trouble during the chase losing a flurry of wickets after a solid opening partnership. He added 41 runs for the first wicket with Danushka Gunathilaka (19) before being caught by Shikhar Dhawan for Bumrah’s first wicket.

And Pothas, who took over the reins as head coach after Graham Ford stepped down at the end of June, admitted that there had been too many changes in the side. “It’s hard when you haven’t seen the guy at all”, said Kohli. We tried that whatever opportunity we get for singles or doubles we will not leave that because by adding singles we wouldn’t reach a stage of needing 6-7 runs per over as we didn t have many batsmen left. Finally, a fingerspinner Akila Dananjaya took over from legspinner Wanindu Hasaranga.

However, MS Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar had other plans in mind.

2 – Dhoni and Bhuvi recorded only the second-century partnership for eighth wicket or lower in victorious ODI run chases.

What he has been able to achieve for Sri Lanka has been outstanding. Else, West Indies would take over them and will automatically qualify for the upcoming cricket WC. He has opened the batting twice, and averages 49; at No. 3 he has played 17 times at 82.75; at No. 4 Dhoni bangs on at 58.23 and at No. 5, 53.86.

Chahal’s 2 for 43 helped restrict Lanka to amanageable target. In Dambulla, India did not bring two leg spinners or two left-handed spinners, which combined the leg break and left arm spin bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal and Akshar Patel.

DAMBULLA Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Mendis is cleaned up by Indian spinner Axar Patel as wicket-keeper M.S. Dhoni looks on during the first One-day International at the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium on Sunday.—AFP