Rohit Sharma-led side came into the match on the back of a 67-run win over the visitors in the first ODI at the Baraspara Stadium in Guwahati on Tuesday (January 10) and carried on the winning momentum two days later.
After being asked to bowl first at the toss, a tidy bowling performance helped the hosts restrict Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka to 215 All Out in 39.4 overs. Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Siraj were the pick of the bowlers, having taken three wickets each.
Umran Malik too chipped in with two wickets as Sri Lanka’s notable contribution came from debutant Nuwanidu Fernando, who scored 50 off 63 ball. Dunith Wellalage played a fighting knock of 32 off 34 balls to take Lanka past the 200-mark.
In response, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya steadied the hosts innings after they lost the top four with just 86 runs on the board. While Pandya scored 36 off 53 balls, Rahul remained unbeaten on 56 off 99 balls to see India home with four wickets in hand and 40 balls to spare.
Here is the post match comments from the winning captain, losing captain, man of the match and other award winners from India vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI in Kolkata:
India vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI Post Match Awards
ACC Trusted Player of the Match (Rs 1 Lakh): KL Rahul (64 not out off 103 balls)
Dream11 Game Changer (Rs 1 Lakh): Mohammed Siraj (3 for 30 in 5.1 overs)
Man of the Match (Rs Lakh): Kuldeep Yadav (3 for 51 in 10 overs)
India vs Sri Lanka 2nd ODI Post match comments
KL Rahul said: “I won’t say it was a flat wicket, or it was doing a lot that it was impossible to bat. When Sri Lanka started, I thought it was a 280-300 wicket. But our bowlers bowled really well to keep them to 220-odd.”
On India’s reply, Rahul added: “But they put up a good fight, got early breakthroughs to put us under pressure. But I had a good partnership with Shreyas and Hardik. We always try to find a way to win, and it was nice to cross the line in the end.”
On approach against Hasaranga, Rahul said: “In Guwahati, the openers put the pressure on the opposition. Then your mindset is to attack, doesn’t matter who is bowling. Today we lost early wickets, so it was important to soak the pressure. If we are chasing 280-300, then we would attack him. But today there was no need.”
On batting at number 5, Rahul said: “The good thing about batting at No. 5 is you don’t have to rush. You can take a shower, put your feet up and watch the game. But I always think what team needs of me. If you can read the situation when you go in, it helps you and team.
“Batting at No. 5 has helped me understand my game better. At No. 5 you have to face spin straightaway; I like ball coming onto the bat but Rohit has been pretty clear that he wants me to bat at No. 5, so that’s what I am trying to do.”
Losing SL skipper Shanaka said: “Not enough runs on the board. We got a good start with the bat and then lost a few wickets. We discussed that it was a very flat deck. 300+ was the score to set, but Kuldeep bowled really well in the middle phase. Batsmen not getting starts is a big concern. We had a chance because the ball was moving. I asked the fast bowlers to stick to their basics and move the ball.”
Winning Indian captain Rohit said: “It was a close game but games like these teach you a lost. We had to build an innings under pressure. KL has been batting at five for a long period of time now and it gives us the depth. Gives you the confidence as well at the top of the order for us to go and bat freely. It was a good display of batsmanship.”
On missing a left-hander on the top, Rohit added: “It’ll be nice to have a left-hander, but I don’t believe too much into it. Ideally we would like to have a left-hander, but we know the quality of the right-handers who are out there in the middle. They can tackle situations when put under pressure.”
On plans for third ODI, Rohit said: “We will have a look at the pitch for the third ODI, and another ODI series is coming up as well. So we will see if we need to make any changes. Kuldeep just comes and gets the breakthrough, he is quite confident as a bowler at the moment, which augurs well for the team.”
Player of the match, Kuldeep said: “I am happy with my performance. Since the last one year, I have been trying to back my strength and not think much. Whenever I get my chance, I just think about performing well. I am enjoying my bowling a lot. The team combination matters, so I just try to give my best whenever I get my chance.”
On bowling quicker, Kuldeep added: “I bowl the faster in the IPL and T20Is also to give the batter one run. So I just did that here also. I have worked on my batting a lot of late. Same with the fitness. Whenever I get time, I go to the NCA. So thanks to the trainers there. That’s one thing I have tried to do in the last one year. Earlier, I wasn’t much into it. Chahal too gave me inputs about their batters.”
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