Kohli, Dhoni make Dambulla entry in style

As fate would have it, that same ground was where the India squad found themselves on Friday, as they prepare for the first game of their five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, which begins on Sunday.

It's the IND vs SL 1st ODI match of the 5 one-day game series today in Dambulla. Sri Lanka will have to bag two wins against India to seal the direct qualification spot, which will see the top seven teams, apart from hosts England qualifying for the 2019 World Cup. Given the decimation they suffered during the Tests, this is going to be a hard ask from them, a humiliating position to find themselves in in the first place. However, the Indian bowlers made a fantastic comeback and were praised by their skipper for putting up a brilliant show. The left-hander gave India a great start after the visitors lost Rohit Sharma early in unfortunate circumstances while chasing a modest total of 217 set by the Islanders.

For India, left-arm spinner Axar Patel scalped three wickets while Bumrah, Chahal and Jadhav took two wickets each.

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They also suffered their maiden One-Day International series loss to Zimbabwe last month, prompting long-serving captain Angelo Mathews to step down. It is a good opportunity and I am excited to get into that field as vice-captain of the Indian team. Pushpakumara's success in the Tests will be an encouraging sign, one they desperately need given how precious Indian wickets have become in this series.

"Performance should be the only criteria to decide who makes the cut or not".

Virat Kohli's men will undoubtedly be the favourites against the eighth-ranked Sri Lankans after sweeping the Test Series in style. They do so many things so differently! "For us it's all about when you want to start and experiment as a team", skipper Virat Kohli said on Saturday, the eve of the first ODI against Sri Lanka here.

Gambhir last played for Virat Kohli's side in 2016 as a Test opener during England's tour of India. There was hardly a chance created by Sri Lanka's bowlers but Dhawan was dropped twice (on 87 and 120) going for attacking shots.

India too had their share of issues with Anil Kumble stepping down as the head coach of the team following differences with Kohli. "Big decisions are taken collectively", said former India wicketkeeper More according to mid-day. Kohli crossed fifty for 44th time in the format.

  • Julie Sanders