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Manish Pandey is likely to be given another opportunity in the second ODI against Sri Lanka | Photo Credit: AP
Manish Pandey is likely to be given another opportunity in the second ODI against Sri Lanka | Photo Credit: AP
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Sri Lanka vs India 2021: Manish Pandey Could Have Finished The Game Off, Says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra has weighed in on Manish Pandey’s selection debate ahead of 2nd ODI between Shikhar Dhawan-led Team India side and hosts Sri Lanka.

Premier batsman Manish Pandey didn’t have the best of the starts in the series opener of the ongoing One Day Internationals (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Manish Pandey Could Have Finished The 1st ODI Off But Instead He Threw It Away In The End

Manish Pandey, who has been a seasoned campaigner for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has failed to cement his place in the white-ball squad of Team India. In the Sri Lanka series, India is fielding a young promising squad, many expected Manish Pandey to showcase his talent in the absence of regular starters.

Manish Pandey made a cautious start in the 1st ODI of the three-match series against Sri Lanka but the premier batsman failed to accelerate his innings during India’s comfortable chase of 263 at the R.Premadasa Stadium. While Pandey’s critics have cast a doubt over his selection in the upcoming games, former cricketer Aakash Chopra has opted to throw his weight behind the Indian batsman.

Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey BCCI / Sportzpics

The former Team India opener and full-time cricket pundit Aakash Chopra presented his analysis on ESPNCricinfo’s Match Day show in the build-up to the 2nd ODI. Discussing India’s possible playing combination for the series decider, Aakash Chopra highlighted the fact that Manish Pandey should have finished the run chase with Shikhar Dhawan in the 1st ODI on Sunday.

“Manish Pandey could have finished the game off. He just threw it away in the end. But you can’t penalize him for just one bad shot in a game that got over with 15 overs to spare. So, no changes for Team India,” Aakash Chopra said.

Manish Pandey struck a four and six in his sedate knock of 26 against Sri Lanka. Manish Pandey’s 40-ball 26 knock ended in the 31st over as the premier batsman was removed by Dhananjaya de Silva.

Shikhar Dhawan Hits Unbeaten 86 As India Wins The 1st ODI, While India Remain Unchanged In The 2nd ODI

Middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav then joined forces with Shikhar Dhawan to help India thrash Sri Lanka by 7 wickets. Shikhar Dhawan (86) and Suryakumar Yadav (31) remained unbeaten to make sure India enter the 2nd ODI with a 1-0 lead on Tuesday at the same venue.

Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the Sri Lanka tour. (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the Sri Lanka tour. (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

A near-flawless performance in the first ODI saw the Indian cricket team kick off the tour of Sri Lanka with a 7-wicket win in the first ODI. Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav shone with the bat while Kuldeep Yadav looked in fine touch with the ball. Middle-order batsman Manish Pandey, however, couldn’t seize the opportunity.

Shikhar Dhawan scored a half-century (86 off 95) in the first ODI while Prithvi Shaw (43 off 24) gave India a blazing start at the top and earned himself the Man of the Match title. Ishan Kishan, coming in to bat at No. 3, started off his innings with a six and scored 59 off 42 before being dismissed by Lakshan Sandakan. Manish Pandey, however, left plenty to desire as he only scored 26 off 40 balls in what was otherwise a free-flowing contest.

Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bat against India in the second ODI. India is fielding an unchanged playing XI, while pacer Kasun Rajitha comes in for fast bowler Isuru Udana in the Sri Lankan XI.

Hardik Pandya Bowling
Hardik Pandya Bowling
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Hardik Pandya Should Be Utilised Better In The 2nd ODI, Says Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra wants all-rounder Hardik Pandya to be utilized more effectively as a bowler in the second ODI against Sri Lanka. This was among the few wishes the cricketer-turned-commentator shared in a video on his YouTube channel.

Hardik Pandya bowled five overs in the first ODI of the series, two as a one-change bowler and three at the death. The all-rounder is returning from back and shoulder injuries and will hope to attain peak bowling fitness soon.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

Aakash Chopra: Hardik Pandya Should Be Utilized Better And Deepak Chahar Should Bowl In The Last 4-5 Overs

Apart from wanting the junior Pandya to bowl a few additional overs, Aakash Chopra hopes Deepak Chahar is given a chance by the team to showcase his death-bowling skills. India used six bowling options with three of them, Deepak Chahar claiming two wickets for himself apart from Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav to mark a fine bowling performance in the 1st ODI.

“Hardik Pandya to be utilized better. He didn’t get to bowl at the right time in the last match. You need to bowl Deepak Chahar in the last 4-5 overs and bowl Hardik before that. You should try to get 7-8 overs from him. Then you will come to know if Hardik as a bowler is getting there.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The former Indian opener also wished that the visitors get a chance to set a target.

“India should get to bat first. My greed is that if you get to bat first, you will get the full 50 overs, someone can score 100-150 runs and India can post a total of 325-330 runs. Our batsmen will get more time to express themselves.”

India chased down the 263-run target in less than 37 overs in the first ODI. They could post a massive score if they get to bat first and play in the same vein as they did in the last match.

Aakash Chopra: India Should Take Wickets With The New Ball

Aakash Chopra hopes India can strike blows with the new ball, which is an area they have been found wanting of late. He observed that India lacked penetration with the new ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was disappointed as he went wicketless and was punished for 63 runs in his nine wicketless overs.

“We should take wickets with the new ball. We can only improve when we admit our mistakes. Bumrah, Shami, Bhuvi, Deepak Chahar – we haven’t been picking wickets with the new ball, I want that to be changed.”

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Image Credit: Twitter)

The 43-year-old also wants India hopefuls like batsmen Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav to play substantial knocks in the second ODI.

“Whichever youngster, whether it is Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav, gets a start should make a big score. These small scores look good for a while but after some time you will forget that. The main team does not have vacant spots, so in such a case 100-150 are remembered.”

Aakash Chopra signed off by hoping that Sri Lanka plays better and makes it a more even contest. The weather may play spoilsport and if rain doesn’t occur, the fans would watch another entertaining match.

Shikhar Dhawan enjoyed a perfect captaincy debut for India against Sri Lanka in the first of their three ODIs at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, with his young and inexperienced team producing a performance that matched that of a world-dominating and seasoned outfit. India played as per the script and expectations to crush Sri Lanka by 7 wickets and more than 14 overs to spare, taking a 1-0 lead.

The architect of India’s commanding victory ― one that should particularly be noticed by Sri Lanka’s former World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga for his bizarre comments before the series ― were youngsters in Prithvi Shaw, Ishan Kishan, the captain himself, and the leg-spin bowling pair of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Aakash Chopra Warns India Of Complacency Against Sri Lanka

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
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

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.”

Shikhar Dhawan guided India to a comfortable win over Sri Lanka on Sunday.© AFP
Shikhar Dhawan guided India to a comfortable win over Sri Lanka on Sunday.© AFP

“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.

Sri Lanka’s Avishka Fernando Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters
Sri Lanka’s Avishka Fernando Photograph: Lee Smith/Action Images via Reuters

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.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Destructive Indian Batting In The 1st ODI Meant Arjuna Ranatunga’s 2nd String Comment Taken To Heart: Aakash Chopra

Aakash Chopra said that the destructive Indian batting which was on display in the first ODI against Sri Lanka made it seem as though they had taken former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga’s adverse comments about them to heart. Each of India’s top three batsmen- Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, and Ishan Kishan scored in excess of 40.

Ahead of the India-Sri Lanka limited-overs series, Arjuna Ranatunga had questioned the Sri Lankan board for allowing the BCCI to send a “second-string” Indian lineup and termed it an insult to the hosts.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Arjuna Ranatunga’s 2nd String Indian Line-up Taken To Heart As India Wins By 7 Wickets Chasing 263 And 15 Overs To Spare

While reviewing the first ODI in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra pointed out that Team India seemed to be extremely keen to make Arjuna Ranatunga swallow his words.

“Did you take it to heart? Arjuna Ranatunga had said that a second-string team had been sent and that it was an insult to them. 262 runs are not that few that you win the match like this by seven wickets and 15 overs are left.”

Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga. (File photo)(Bloomberg)
Former Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga. (File photo)(Bloomberg)

The reputed commentator highlighted that it was an explosive display by the Indian batsmen.

Aakash Chopra observed:“The young Indian team showed how to silence the hosts. The atmosphere has changed a little. The whole way of demolishing, absolutely annihilating the opposition, destructive.”

Team India chased down the 263-run target with ease. They overhauled the Sri Lankan score with seven wickets in hand and more than 13 overs to spare.

Aakash Chopra Impressed By India’s Batting Exploits

Aakash Chopra was even more impressed by the Indian onslaught as it was in sharp contrast to the approach he himself used to take while batting.

The former Indian opener highlighted: “The opposing team won the toss and in the mid-innings we thought 262 runs are not less. But such explosive and amazing batting. Also because this was totally not my style of batting. The way I used to play, I used to wake up if I batted like that even in my dreams.”

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

Shikhar Dhawan top-scored for Team India with a responsible unbeaten 86, which came at a decent strike rate of 90.52. However, he was completely overshadowed by the breathtaking assault from the other end. Prithvi Shaw (43 off 24 deliveries), Ishan Kishan (59 off 42 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (31* off 20 deliveries) shred the Sri Lankan attack and never allowed them to settle down.

Prithvi Shaw’s 24-ball 43 provided early momentum and ODI debutant Ishan Kishan’s 42-ball 59 took the game away from Sri Lanka. Later skipper opener Shikhar Dhawan anchored the chase with an unbeaten 86 off 95 balls but before the batsmen did their job, India’s spinners unsettled the opponents.

Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya
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Hardik Pandya Was Looking Really Fit While Bowling After A Long Time: Deep Dasgupta

Hardik Pandya, the Indian all-rounder has hardly bowled in recent times after suffering a shoulder niggle. The Indian team has long wanted him to be 100% fit before handing him the ball. In the first ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday (July 18), Hardik Pandya has been finally seen bowling after a really long time.

Former Indian cricketer, a wicketkeeper, and commentator Deep Dasgupta gave his take on Hardik Pandya bowling for the Indian team. He said it was a “very, very positive sign,” in a video on his YouTube channel.

Hardik Pandya Image Source : GETTY
Hardik Pandya Image Source: GETTY

Hardik Pandya Was Looking Really Fit While Bowling After A Long Time: Deep Dasgupta

Deep Dasgupta also added that Hardik Pandya’s bowling is very important for India in limited-overs cricket, especially with the forthcoming 2021 T20 World Cup arriving soon. Hardik Pandya was handed the ball against Sri Lanka in the last over of the first powerplay.

When talking about Pandya’s bowling, Deep Dasgupta said: “He didn’t just bowl, but bowled in the death overs as well. He went for a few runs but his bowling seemed very close to what it used to be.”

Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)
Deep Dasgupta. Photo Credit (Twitter)

Hardik Pandya is a key member of India’s limited-overs setup and his bowling provides some much-needed balance to the team. Hardik Pandya did not bowl a lot in the first ODI, but just seeing him bowl will come as a huge relief to the Indian management and fans. He bowled five overs conceding 34 runs and also managed to pick up a wicket.

“He was bowling bouncers, pace was up, was looking really fit, and was quick through the action,” added Deep Dasgupta.

After recovering from a career-threatening back injury he suffered in 2019 for which he went back surgery, Hardik Pandya bowled quite impressively and without too much apparent discomfort during the limited-overs series against England. He didn’t bowl in IPL 2020 at UAE and didn’t bowl much in the Australia tour except for one ODI. Hardik Pandya has bowled sporadically since his back surgery, which has led to his non-selection in Test format.

Prithvi Shaw Awarded Man Of The Match For His 43 Off Just 24 Balls

Sri Lanka only managed 262 runs at the end of their allotted 50 overs and that was never going to be enough against a good Indian batting line-up. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were excellent and secured two wickets each, while Krunal Pandya dried up the runs with a tight spell.

India won the first ODI against Sri Lanka by seven wickets with 80 balls to spare to open their tour on a positive note. The hosts opted to bat first but failed to get a good total on the board as they failed to increase the momentum in the middle overs.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

Chasing 263 for victory, Prithvi Shaw provided India with a flying start. He was awarded the Player of the Match for his attacking 43 off just 24 balls that took the wind out of the Lankans’ sails.

Skipper Shikhar Dhawan initially played second fiddle to Prithvi Shaw but opened up later on. He remained unbeaten on 86, while Ishan Kishan scored an attacking 59 on his ODI debut. India has now taken a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series. They will look to continue the momentum in the second ODI on July 20 and secure the series with a match to spare.

Pragyan Ojha LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP
Pragyan Ojha LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP
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Indian Cricket Is Flexing Its Muscle, Says Pragyan Ojha

Pragyan Ojha, former Indian cricketer showered praise on second-string Team India after they thrashed Sri Lanka by seven wickets on July 19 (Sunday) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. As a result, the Men in Blue have gone 1-0 up in the three-match ODI series.

Taking to Twitter, Pragyan Ojha credited India A tours and IPL for creating a pool of cricketers who can take international cricket by storm on any given day.

Pragyan Ojha — File Photo
Pragyan Ojha — File Photo

Pragyan Ojha: Indian Cricket Is Flexing Its Muscle

Pragyan Ojha played for Mumbai Indians for 4 seasons between 2012 and 2015 and twice won the IPL title with them. He picked 89 scalps in 92 IPL games averaging 26.2 playing from 2008-2015. Pragyan Ojha played 24 Tests, 18 ODIs, and 6 T20Is picking 113, 21, and 10 wickets respectively.

Pragyan Ojha wrote: “Indian cricket is flexing its muscle. Pure dominance and contagious confident attitude. Without a doubt frequent India A tournaments and IPL have been revolutionary.”

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav (BCCI)

Incidentally, the India A team has played 24 unofficial Test matches between 2017-2019, which is more than what international teams like Pakistan, New Zealand, and Bangladesh have played during the same period. The BCCI has invested a lot of time and money in creating strong bench strength over the last couple of years under Rahul Dravid, which is reaping rewards now.

The likes of Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Chetan Sakariya have been successful in IPL 2020 and/or 2021 and were chosen for the first time in the Sri Lanka tour while other experienced stars like Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav, and Prithvi Shaw have performed consistently well in IPL and domestic cricket for which they were selected in the senior team.

India Chased Down 263 Successfully With Crucial Knocks From The Trio Of Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, And Ishan Kishan

Chasing a target of 263 in the 1st ODI, set by Sri Lanka after a late resurgence from Chamika Karunaratne (43* off 35 balls), India got off to a flying start. Prithvi Shaw went berserk against Sri Lanka’s new-ball bowlers. By the time he was dismissed after scoring 43, the visitors were already at 58 in just 5.3 overs.

After the dismissal, debutant Ishan Kishan came to the crease and announced his arrival with a six and four. The southpaw partnered with captain Shikhar Dhawan and steered the run chase with ease. Ishan Kishan scored a brilliant fifty on debut to become only the second Indian after Robin Uthappa to score a half-century on both ODI and T20I debuts.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

They added 85 runs for the second wicket before the debutant was dismissed after scoring 58 runs. While Prithvi Shaw and Ishan Kishan went all guns blazing, Shikhar Dhawan was happy to play the role of a second fiddle.

Shikhar Dhawan remained unbeaten on 86 runs along with another debutant, Suryakumar Yadav, who chipped in with 31 as India went past the target within 36.4 overs to go 1-0 up in the series. The second ODI of the three-match series is on July 20 (Tuesday) at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

India's Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Avishka Fernando during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo)
India's Yuzvendra Chahal celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Avishka Fernando during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka. (AP Photo)
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India Chased Down 263 Against Sri Lanka To Equal Record For Most ODI Wins Against A Single Opponent

India chased down 263 in just 36.4 overs against Sri Lanka in Colombo to equal the record for the most ODI wins (92) against a single opponent in the format with Australia and Pakistan.

India-led by Shikhar Dhawan broke a number of records on Sunday after beating hosts island nation Sri Lanka by seven wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo.

Indian Skipper Shikhar Dhawan played a fine knock of 86, even as his younger partners blazed away. Photo: @ICC
Indian Skipper Shikhar Dhawan played a fine knock of 86, even as his younger partners blazed away. Photo: @ICC

India Chased Down 263 In Just 36.4 Overs

India chased down the target of 263 in just 36.4 overs to equal the record for the most ODIs wins (92) against a single opponent in the format. Australia and Pakistan also occupy the joint-top spot on this list with 92 wins each against New Zealand and Sri Lanka, respectively.

Shikhar Dhawan, who led for the first time in international cricket, top-scored for the visitors while Ishan Kishan and Prithvi Shaw played the supporting roles with quick-fire 59 and 43, respectively.

Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten 86 in a successful run chase saw him go past Ajit Wadekar on the list of the highest scores by Indian batsmen in their very first innings as ODI captain. Sachin Tendulkar holds the record with his 110 against the Lankans at this very venue in 1996 while Ajit Wadekar now occupies the third spot with 67  against England at Headingley (Leeds) in 1974.

Shikhar Dhawan also became the sixth Indian to score more than 50 runs on his ODI captaincy debut. He went past 6,000 ODIs runs and completed 1000 runs against Sri Lanka during his match-winning knock but still wasn’t adjudged Player of the Match with that award going to Prithvi Shaw for his 24-ball cameo which set the pace of the chase in the powerplay.

Ishan Kishan Hits A Fifty On His Birthday And ODI Debut

Ishan Kishan also broke a few records during his swashbuckling knock which contained 8 fours and a couple of sixes. Ishan Kishan celebrated his 23rd birthday in style by becoming the first Indian to hit the fifties on debut in both T20I and ODI cricket. He is the second player after South African Rassie van der Dussen to achieve the feat.

Ishan Kishan’s 33-ball fifty was also the second-fastest by an Indian batsman playing his maiden ODI innings. He had started his knock with a six off the very first ball he faced in the format. Just four Indians had managed to hit a fifty on their birthday before Ishan Kishan but he is the only one to achieve the feat on his ODI debut.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)

The number 25 was widely used during the series opener between India and Sri Lanka on Sunday. Shikhar Dhawan and Dasun Shanaka both became the respective countries’ 25th ODI captains respectively, while debutants Ishan Kishan and Minod Bhanuka also became the 25th wicketkeepers to represent their countries in this format.

This was the Men in Blue’s ninth successive win in Sri Lanka. The Men in Blue are the only side in the world to register more wins than losses against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka – 29 wins & 27 losses in 62 ODIs. India has won 14 of their previous 16 ODIs against the islanders.

Sri Lanka had posted a total of 262/9 in 50 overs. Chamika Karunaratne top-scored for SL with 43 runs while Deepak Chahar (2/37) had the best figures for India. India defeated beat Sri Lanka by 7 wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the 3-match series. It was a dominant display by the Indian batsmen as they reached the target of 263 runs in 36.4 overs. Shikhar Dhawan stayed unbeaten on 86 while Suryakumar Yadav (31*) supported him in the end.

Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
Ishan Kishan (Image Credit: BCCI)
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Ishan Kishan Had Already Told Everyone That He Will Hit The First Ball He Faced In ODIs For A Six

Ishan Kishan has revealed that he had already told everyone in the dressing room that he will hit the first ball he faces in ODIs for a six.

Ishan Kishan smashed 59 runs off just 42 deliveries on his debut ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday. The knock helped Team India register an easy seven-wicket win with more than 13 overs to spare.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Ishan Kishan Had Already Told Everyone That He Will His The First Ball He Faced In ODIs For A Six

During a post-match interview, Ajay Jadeja asked Ishan Kishan if he had spoken to Suryakumar Yadav before going in to bat. The diminutive wicketkeeper-batsman responded that he had already made up his mind that the first ball had to go for a six like the right-handed Suryakumar Yadav who hit the first ball he faced in T20Is for a six.

He said: “Actually, everyone knew it, inside also I had already told everyone that once I go, wherever the first ball is, I will hit it for a six. Because the odds were in my favor – birthday plus a good pitch and I was playing my first ODI and I felt I could target him.”

Ishan Kishan
Ishan Kishan. Getty Images.

Ishan Kishan, who was celebrating his 23rd birthday on Sunday, added that the knock was a return gift from his side.

He observed: “The most special thing was that it was my birthday and I was playing my first ODI. Everyone asks for a return gift, so I always wanted to give it by playing a good knock and helping the team win.”

Ishan Kishan danced down the track off the first ball he faced and smacked Dhananjaya de Silva for a six-over long-on. His Mumbai Indians teammate Suryakumar Yadav had also hit a six off the first ball he faced in international cricket. The 22-year-old Ishan Kishan made his debut in the second T20I against England in Ahmedabad and smashed 56 runs off 32 balls which was studded with 5 fours and 4 sixes.

Ishan Kishan Asked Shikhar Dhawan To Give Him The Strike More

Left-handed southpaw Ishan Kishan pointed out that Rahul Dravid had conveyed to him beforehand that he would be batting at the No.3 spot.
He elaborated: “Dravid Sir had already told me during the practice sessions that I will bat at No.3. So whatever practice I had to do with the new ball, obviously I was doing for a long time. It was not something that we decided during the match, it was decided beforehand.”
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

Ishan Kishan signed off by sharing his light-hearted conversation with Shikhar Dhawan in the middle.

“I told him [Dhawan] to just forget all that and just give me the strike. If I am able to hit it, why not continue hitting,” Kishan said.

Shikhar Dhawan mentioned in the post-match presentation ceremony that he was asking Ishan Kishan to take it slightly easy in the middle. The youngster did not heed to his skipper’s advice and smashed eight fours and two sixes during the course of his knock.

Wicket-keeper batsman Ishan Kishan, who made his One Day International debut for India on 18 July, scored a fast 59 off 42 balls against Sri Lanka. Ishaan Kishan became the first Indian batsman to attain a half-century in the debut match in both T20 and One Day Internationals.

For the second wicket with captain Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan shared an impressive 85-run partnership. The left-handed batsman had made his intentions clear with the very first ball. He hit a six off the first ball of Dhananjay de Silva. He is only the fifth batsman after the year 2002 who has hit a six off the very first ball of his ODI career.

Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals' innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals' innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL
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Aakash Chopra Is A Huge Fan Of Prithvi Shaw Because One Doesn’t Get A Destructive Batsman Like Him In Entire India

Aakash Chopra believes Prithvi Shaw’s destructive batsmanship cannot be replicated by any other Indian batsman.

Prithvi Shaw tore the Sri Lankan bowling attack apart in the first ODI on Sunday (18 July). The dashing opener smashed 43 runs off just 24 deliveries, including nine hits to the fence.

Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra Is A Huge Fan Of Prithvi Shaw Because One Doesn’t Get A Batsman Like That In Entire India

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra was lavish with his praise for Prithvi Shaw. The former Indian opener said that he is a big fan of Prithvi Shaw who reminds everyone of former dashing swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag.

“It seemed the momentum will be with Sri Lanka but Prithvi came, Prithvi ‘Shaw’, Prithvi conquered. He is from a different planet. I am a huge Prithvi Shaw fan because you will not get a batsman like that in entire India.”

Prithvi Shaw ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images
Prithvi Shaw ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Aakash Chopra highlighted that Prithvi Shaw had carried on with the form he had shown in the Vijay Hazare Trophy and the first half of IPL 2021.

“Viru (Virender Sehwag) used to be there but this player, 43 runs in just 24 balls, and it seemed without breaking a sweat, without taking chances, only on the rise and through the gap. I mean what a player. 2021 has been in this player’s name, from the Vijay Hazare Trophy to the IPL to now.”

Aakash Chopra: Prithvi Shaw Wasted The Opportunity To Convert Good Positive Start To A Substantial Knock

On the flip side, Aakash Chopra observed that Prithvi Shaw seemed to have given away his wicket after being struck on the head by a bouncer. Prithvi Shaw could not convert his start to a huge score against Sri Lanka.

“However, when he got hit on the head, he got a little rattled and then played a bad shot to get out. He will think about this, that these 43 runs are pretty and explosive but people tend to forget 40-odd runs.”

The 43-year signed off by pointing out that Prithvi Shaw had wasted an opportunity to play a substantial knock. In this regard, Aakash Chopra said that he should not have missed the chance.

“He had a chance today to convert it into 140. You have let that chance slip away from your hands.”

Prithvi Shaw was struck on the helmet by a Dushmantha Chameera bouncer. He was dismissed off the very next delivery he faced, caught at long-on off Dhananjaya de Silva while going for a big shot.

Colombo: India's Ishan Kishan, right, celebrates scoring a half century with Shikhar Dhawan during the first one day international cricket match between Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18, 2021.AP/PTIPhoto
Sri Lanka and India in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, July 18, 2021.AP/PTIPhoto

Chasing 263 for victory on a good pitch, the tourists won by seven wickets with 80 balls to spare. Prithvi Shaw’s 24-ball 43 provided early momentum and ODI debutant Ishan Kishan’s 42-ball 59 took the game away from Sri Lanka. Shikhar Dhawan anchored the chase with an unbeaten 86 off 95 balls but before the batsmen did their job, India’s spinners unsettled the opponents.

This was Prithvi Shaw’s first 50-over international in about 18 months. In batting-friendly conditions, the 21-year-old didn’t have the fear of his exaggerated hand movement impeding his natural game. In 4 ODIs, he has 127 runs averaging 31.75 and this 43 is his highest score to date, and the in-form batsman would like to make amends to his below-par average in his brief ODI career.

File picture of Russel Arnold. - THE HINDU
File picture of Russel Arnold. - THE HINDU
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Russel Arnold Envious That India Has So Many Quality Players

Russel Arnold has made heads turn with his glaring remark on Shikhar Dhawan-led India who will battle it out against Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series from July 18 (Sunday), which will be followed by three T20Is.

While a lot of talks have been made on the second-string Shikhar Dhawan-led Team India, without white-ball regulars in the likes of India captain Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, former Sri Lankan cricketer Russel Arnold is envious of the team having quality cricketers as the batting line-up has a lot of talented youngsters.

Russel Arnold | Twitter
Russel Arnold | Twitter

Russel Arnold Is Jealous That India Has So Many Quality Players In Their Bench

On one hand, Arjuna Ranatunga feels Sri Lanka playing a second-stringed Indian team in home conditions is an ‘insult’ to SLC, Russel Arnold has revealed that he is jealous of Shikhar Dhawan-led India as it gives an account into the Men in Blue’s rich depth and solid bench strength.

Despite no Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma, India has great balance in their squad with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pandya brothers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav along with youngsters such as Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy and Krishnappa Gowtham, most of whom are yet to debut for India in limited-overs.

Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan - SPORTZPICS
Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan – SPORTZPICS

Even the uncapped Indian players are big names, or known faces, due to their success in the extravagant IPL in the recent editions.

Russel Arnold told, “I just feel jealous that India has those cricketers. Even this team, we’ve seen them play. We’ve seen the quality they bring. There is a lot of experience too in Shikhar Dhawan, the Pandyas, spinners Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. There’s a lot of exciting prospects.”

“We also know about the youngsters and what they can do. The question for the India team would be, can these youngsters actually perform on their own knowing that there is no cushion of a Rohit or Virat. Can they take that next step? It will be exciting to see. As I said, I’m jealous that India is actually in this position (of having so many quality players),” Russel Arnold added.

Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Krishnappa Gowtham and Chetan Sakariya got maiden India call-ups. Yuzvendra Chahal will lead the spin department and will have support from the likes of Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, and Varun Chakravarthy. Bhuvneshwar Kumar will spearhead the pace attack with support from the likes of Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, and Chetan Sakariya.

Russell Arnold: There Is A Lot Of Talent In The Batting Line-up

Prithvi Shaw has earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs). Openers Devdutt Padikkal (473 runs in IPL 2020 and 195 runs in IPL 2021) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (204 runs in IPL 2020 and 196 runs in IPL 2021) performed well in IPL.

Nitish Rana had scored above 300 runs in every edition since IPL 2017 and managed 201 runs in 7 games in IPL 2021. Chetan Sakariya who impressed everyone in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 where he picked 7 wickets in as many games for Rajasthan Royals has also earned a place in the squad.

The former Sri Lanka cricketer Russel Arnold further opined, “Of course, you will be looking at Dhawan and Pandyas to perform but I’m thinking Prithvi Shaw might get a run. Helpfully he will prove me right by entertaining everyone.”

Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI
Rahul Dravid Photo Credit: PTI

“There is Padikkal, Gaikwad. When we look at the batting, there is a lot of talent. Will they look at it as an opportunity and will they push the seniors? It comes down to what you have and what you want to prove.

“You can sit back and think I’m a part of it, I’ve got my opportunity and that’s fine, this attitude will not take you far. Hunger is what will make the difference. It’s hard to give names right now because we don’t know who is going to play from the big squad of 20. But whoever plays, we know can be dangerous,” concluded Russel Arnold.

The forthcoming SL tour will also see Rahul Dravid, India’s former captain, serving as the head coach of the national side for the first time ever in Ravi Shastri’s absence, who is still in the UK for the five Tests against England. Many believe with Ravi Shastri’s tenure set to get over after the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, Rahul Dravid will be a strong contender to take over the top job.

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