WI Tri-Series 2013 3rd ODI: India vs Sri Lanka Live Score
West Indies Tri-Series 3rd Match India vs Sri Lanka Live Score 02 July 2013
Parting ways after the World Cup final, both India and Sri Lanka sought the tedious process of phasing out their seniors. Two years later, one has thoroughly transformed their side while the other is still a work in progress.
Two years later when they met again, in the Champions Trophy semifinal, the progress they had made in this span fully reflected on the result, wherein India inflicted a crushing defeat on their neighbours. The eight-wicket win also signified Sri Lanka's reliance on their old guard while a young brigade processed India's triumph.
Not that Sri Lanka's transition route was faulty, but only that India's was better. There is still an excessive dependency on Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara, and though both of them have delivered almost unfailingly, they need their talented-but-under-performing group to shoulder more responsibilities. Doubtless that there are gems amidst them, but they are still uncut and coarse. Like for instance, Dinesh Chandimal and Lahiru Thirimanne, both talented batsmen, but are somehow unable to achieve the sort of match-winning maturity expected of them. Upul Tharanga's inclusion may seem a retrograde step, but at 28, he has ample experience.
Whereas, India's transition, though rough at times, is near complete. The team has identified a core for the 2015 World Cup, and the Caribbean tri-series is an opportunity for them to galvanize their team dynamics. Unless MS Dhoni is ruled out of Tuesday's match because of the hamstring injury suffered on Sunday, India will persist with the same eleven as they had in the Champions Trophy. For, in a snappy tournament like this, where losing a couple of matches can deter a team's prospect of reaching the final, scope for experiments are usually negligible.
Moreover, most of the aspects are functioning smoothly. Shikhar Dhawan's unprecedented bombast and Rohit Sharma's belated coming-of-age have given not just stability but also a streak of menace to India at the top. That said, this is an opportunity for Rohit to convert his half-centuries to something more substantial.
Likewise, it would be interesting to see how Bhuvneshwar Kumar adapts to the sluggish conditions, straight after a conducive English summer, where his fuller length deliveries found sufficient purchase. Ishant Sharma, who usually prefers the three-quarter length, could be resourceful in these conditions, and his height should help him find some bounce.
However, the decisive factor could be how the spinners perform. The slow, low conditions should cheer Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.
Conversely, Sri Lanka's Rangana Herath has been bereft of support, more so intensified after T Dilshan abstained from the series due to an injury. The recalled Ajantha Mendis, though has an exceptional record against India (28 wickets in 16 matches at 24.92).