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Sri Lanka v India 1st ODI 2017: Who Said What

"The mental preparation helps me keep confidence in myself," Dhawan said.

Shikhar Dhawan India
Indian cricketer Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo by LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sri Lanka vs India ODI series got underway at Dambulla today but it was a sorry story. Amidst all the excitement around the game and the hosts claiming to turn things around, they were no match for the Indian team. Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first, after a good start from the Lankan top order when India pulled things back they were out of air.

The batting line-up just crumbled without any spine and from being 138/1 in 24 overs, they were bowled out for 216 in another 19 overs. Niroshan Dickwella was the only batter who played a knock worth mention as he challenged the Indian bowlers early on with his innings of 64, he hit eight boundaries and got them off to a blazing start.

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Once the middle order was in and the Indian spinners were in operation it was a different game. Yuzvendra Chahal got them the breakthrough and then Axar Patel and Kedar Jadhav joined the party. The trio accounted for 7 wickets amongst them with Axar claiming his career-best figures of 3/34 while Jadhav and Chahal shared a couple each. In his last spell pacer Jasprit Bumrah picked two while Chamara Kapugedera was run out by skipper Kohli.

India were clinical about their business in the chase with Shikhar Dhawan continuing his dashing form. He was all over the Sri Lankan bowlers who couldn’t produce questioning deliveries consistent enough to build pressure on the Indians. After a seemingly good start, Rohit Sharma was run out in the 5th over. But thereafter there were no problems for the Men in Blue as Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli toyed with the Lankans.

Dhawan scored a hundred off just 71 balls and stayed unbeaten on 121 with Kohli also registering a half century and taking the team home with his knock of 58 from as many deliveries.

Here is what the captains and the Man of the Match Shikhar Dhawan had to say in the post-match presentation.

The left-hander received a couple of cheques, one for the fastest fifty, one for being the MoM, a just launched phone along with two trophies.

With his hands full of trophies Shikhar Dhawan said:

“Things have been going well for me. I have only kept my focus on the processes and not on the results. The mental preparation helps me keep confidence in myself. I just wanted to play on the merit of the ball and keep my focus on.”

A delighted Indian skipper Virat Kohli said:

They got off to a very good start. We thought we’d be chasing something close to 300; it was a brilliant wicket for batting. The ball was coming onto the bat like a dream under lights and Shikhar and me enjoyed batting together. The last three months have been a great time for Shikhar. The good thing is that he is capitalizing on his purple patch. He can win you games with the way he bats and we would be looking to keep him in that zone for as long as we can.

I think we need to start planning for the 2019 World Cup around 24 months in advance. We are taking that as a challenge and look to try out different things. You can see a lot of surprises over the next few games. We thought Axar was a gun fielder and felt that one wrist spinner is enough. Also, Axar is a useful batsman and that helps us.”

Upul Tharanga was out of words, little does a captain have to say after such a game.

“We started well but we did not capitalize after that. Someone should have carried on to get a big one after that. This is what we have been lacking for the last 2-3 years. Everyone hasn’t been getting runs for us. At one stage it looked like we would get to 300 but unfortunately we couldn’t do it. In the end India played brilliantly. Someone needs to get a big one for us in the future. Even in the bowling, we need to step up,” he said.

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