2nd ODI: Sri Lanka have good chance to beat India in ODI series after 20 years!
Thisara Perera's tourists in with a good chance of beating India in an ODI series for the first time since 1997 in today's second ODI
Team India has been put in a must-win situation for the second consecutive ODI series. Against New Zealand though, India emerged triumphant and went on to win the series 2-1 but underdogs Sri Lanka have put the Men in Blue's dominance under threat especially with the way India's top order collapsed on a seaming Dharamsala pitch in the opening ODI on Sunday. With overcast conditions on the eve of the second ODI and a green top dished out here at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, the focus will once again fall on India's batsmen if Sri Lanka win another important toss today.
Lanka captain Thisara Perera during a practice session in Mohali yesterday. Pic/PTI
A short series can be tricky as the loser of the first match is under intense pressure going into the second game to keep the contest alive. At the start of the ODI series, there were doubts hovering over Sri Lanka's ability to even compete against India, who are unbeaten in their last seven series. Also, Sri Lanka came into the India series on the back of two consecutive whitewashes in their last two series.
After the Dharamsala drubbing, India are starring at their first series defeat since June 2016 while Sri Lanka are eyeing their first series victory against India since 1997. The visitors would be certainly fancying their chances after enjoying a 2-1 win-loss record at the PCA stadium here. However, both the wins for Sri Lanka did not come against India.
There is no certainty in Sri Lanka cricket at the moment. Even skipper Thisara Perera's appointment is only till the end of the India series. In such a scenario, Perera is determined to capitalise on the golden opportunity to stun No. 2-ranked India and leave the rest to destiny. "This is a fine opportunity to win the series. The first game is history. I know this is a good opportunity for us to win. I don't think anyone else has done that in the last few years. It's a ood chance for us as we are leading the series. We want to win and then we can settle down for a 2-0 series win," said Perera on the eve of the crucial clash.
"There's no pressure on us. It is just another game. Everyone knows that if we win tomorrow, we will win the series. We have to give our 200 per cent. I know my boys and I am sure they will give 200 to 300 per cent," he added. Perera is expecting to make full use of his experience of playing here with the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League. India too are expected to draft in Kings XI Punjab's Axar Patel in place of Kuldeep Yadav. But it remains to be seen if India relax their policy to include Ajinkya Rahane to bulk up their batting department.
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