Cool, Composed MS Dhoni Stretches India Lead in ODI Series

Virat Kohli is open to helping the Sri Lankan management with their transitional issues

India will be looking to take an unbeatable lead in the five match ODI series against Sri Lanka when they play the third ODI against the Lankans tomorrow at Kandy.

The Indians got a ideal start in the chase of 231 (D/L Method).

There were understandable reservations about his red ball credentials given he had just played 17 first-class matches before his test debut, with one five-wicket haul and no centuries.

With chances of winning looking sleek, Bhuvneshwar then joined Dhoni in the middle and played sensibly. Sri Lanka 54 for 2 after 15 overs.

Chamara Kapugedara, who is leading the Sri Lankan side in place of Upul Tharanga, and Virat Kohli seemed to have their respective wish granted.

The duo gradually stole runs before Bhuvaneshwar with his senior partner broke loose towards the end to take India past the readjusted arget of 231 (Sri Lanka had scored 236 for 8). Kohli spoke about fitness, one aspect on which none can question Dhoni.

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Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne have been brought into the squad as Danuskha Gunathilaka is also said to be injured. Soon Danushka Gunathilaka, who troubled the visitors in the first ODI, was dismissed by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

The brutality of that 96-ball knock drew a comparison from India batting great Sunil Gavaskar with an Australian player whose suitability for test cricket was also questioned early in his career. "So it's an opportunity for everyone in the team including MS to create good habits and sustain them over a period of time". In the 17th over, Chandimal was struck on his thumb by a vicious bouncer.

Chandimal was hit on the right thumb by a Hardik Pandya delivery when he was on 14 and needed medical attention. Dhoni's unbeaten 50 off 68 balls took India over the line in the final over. Case in point: The straight drive off Pandya in the 19th over.

India, fresh from their success in the Champions Trophy final, were the favorites going into the tri-series in the Caribbean. But he would not stop there. "I bowled a lot of variations and it went really well", he added.

Indian skipper Kohli, who had made it clear that the team management will experiment in the ODIs, will look to continue the same policy even after a collapse.



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