Dhawan leads India to thumping win

India thrashed Sri Lanka by 9 wickets in the first ODI in Dambulla on Sunday; Chasing 217, Dhawan added 197-run partnership with captain Virat Kohli and ended the proceedings in 28.5 overs. The only T20 match will be played in Colombo's Premdasa stadium on September 6.

India won the toss and made a decision to bowl first.

India captain Virat Kohli and Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga. Sometimes, they can fail in performing up to the mark and end up on the losing side.

The home side need to win at least two games to qualify automatically for the 2019 World Cup by virtue of their ICC ranking.

Earlier, Sri Lankan fans turned up at the venue expecting an improved showing from the meek surrender in the preceding Test series but they were left disappointed. Virat scored 82 runs in 70 balls [not out] (ten fours and one six) and Shikhar scored 132 in 90 balls [not out] (three sixes and twenty fours).

Sri Lanka is now placed eighth with 88 points, 10 points more than the West Indies, which has an unenviable task in its aim of being among the seven top-ranked sides apart from host England to gain direct qualification.

Indian captain Virat Kohli heaped praises on Dhawan and said he is cashing in on his purple patch.

Dhawan's heroics were aided by another sublime knock from talismanic skipper Kohli, who was more patient in his approach - although he did play a stunning back-foot drive off a luckless Lakshan Sandakan (0-63) that cleared the long-on boundary.

Axar Patel claimed three wickets, proven a good work for the team and helped the Team India in winning the match. "How bad this Sri Lankan team is" was the common refrain.

This move also highlights that Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will continue to open the innings, with Rahane the third-choice opener given the presence of both Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav in the squad.

For Sri Lanka, all-rounder Angelo Mathews is the leading player among batsmen (27th) as well as bowlers (53rd) and the only all-rounder in the series among the top-five. "If you take the last series, our batting was good, but our fielding was a drawback and in the last game which we had to win our batting let us down", Tharanga explained.

PLAYING CONDITIONS: Dambulla's pitch has always favoured batsmen.

In terms of bowling, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are frontrunners to take care of spin-bowling department whereas Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Shardul Thakur, alongside, Hardik Pandya will shoulder the responsibility of pace-bowling attack.

  • Anthony Vega