Aakash Chopra has warned the Shikhar Dhawan-led Indian cricket team against taking their opponents lightly in the second ODI.
The former opener believes the Sri Lankans, although a bit undercooked, have immense potential and can put the visitors’ young team under the pump with a collective effort.
Aakash Chopra: It’s Possible That Sri Lanka Can Give India A Challenge In The 2nd ODI
Aakash Chopra‘s observation came after India’s clinical seven-wicket win in the first ODI. The hosts initially showed some encouraging signs, with a 49-run opening stand and good starts for everyone in the top order. However, no batsman ultimately crossed 50 and the team stumbled to an easily chasable 262-9 in the first innings.
“It doesn’t look like that after the first game (if Sri Lanka can give India a challenge in the second ODI). But I still believe it’s possible. They need to score some more runs with the bat. A lot of players got a start and when that happens you expect at least one of them to make it big in the next game.”
“And the moment you have that big score and are around that 300-mark, you can certainly put pressure on this Indian team. Youngsters like Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav and Prithvi Shaw all lack a bit of experience,” Aakash Chopra told ESPNcricinfo.
Half-centuries from Ishan Kishan and Shikhar Dhawan helped India register a comfortable 7-wicket win over Sri Lanka. Stand-in skipper Shikhar Dhawan led from the front with an unbeaten knock of 86 and he was well supported by Prithvi Shaw (43) and Ishan Kishan (59) as India chased down the 263-run target comfortably at the R Premadasa stadium.
Earlier, after winning the toss and electing to bat Sri Lanka posted a competitive total of 262 for nine from their allotted 50 overs. With the ball, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, and Deepak Chahar all picked up two wickets apiece. Shaw, for his explosive cameo, was adjudged player of the match.
Aakash Chopra: India Will Be Under Pressure If Avishka Fernando Gets A Good Start
The cricketer-turned-commentator cited the example of opener Avishka Fernando, explaining how a pioneering knock from someone like him could easily turn the table on the Indians in the next match.
“I like Avishka a lot, imagine if he gets such a start again and puts up 130 then the same team will look very different and India will be under pressure. You shouldn’t think the opponents aren’t competing and just ‘participating’. It will be great if India wins but I won’t take the opponents lightly at all, they are well accustomed to these conditions,” added Aakash Chopra.
Aakash Chopra opined that there’s no scope for changes in the Indian playing XI ahead of the second ODI because most of the players looked in decent touch in the first match.
“Not at all and there are two reasons for it. Firstly, you should pick the original team for a 3-match series after a lot of thought and planning because there should be a change only when something has gone radically wrong…There’s neither a scope for a tactical change here nor form wise because whoever batted did well and whoever bowled, did decently too.”
India will look to capitalize on their 1-0 lead in the second ODI on Tuesday (July 20). Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has a lot of thinking to do. Their batting was still good but in the field, they seemed to have run out of gas. The bowling was haywire as well and they need to regroup to come back strong in the next ODI which is two days later.