India aim for consolidation against under-prepared Sri Lanka
Ahmedabad: After starting the series with a crushing victory, an upbeat India will aim to maintain their stranglehold over an under-prepared Sri Lanka when they meet in the second ODI here today.
Needless to say that India will be starting as overwhelming favourites at the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, having walloped the opponents by 169 runs in the opening match.
India went into the series opener with their confidence boosted by back-to-back victories over West Indies at Delhi and Dharamsala, after a shock loss at Kochi in the series opener.
Coming on as last-minute substitutes after West Indies pulled out of the series due to a payment dispute with their Board, nothing went right for the islanders, who had to leave behind their fitness training programme at home to get ready for this tour, in the Cuttack opener.
The Lankan bowlers allowed the Indian openers - Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan - to put on a double century (231 run) stand, which also happened to be the third best for the country for the first wicket and was the platform for the tall Indian total.
A dropped catch reprieved the left-handed Dhawan early on and after India raked up an imposing 363 for 5, built mainly on the stroke-filled, individual hundreds from the two openers, the Lankan batting caved in meekly on a low bouncing wicket.
For Lanka to make a match of it tomorrow it's imperative they restrict the rampaging Indian batting line-up from running up another big total if the hosts bat first.
It's in bowling that Lanka appear the weaker side especially without the services of slinger Lasith Malinga and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath who are not with the touring party.