India v Sri Lanka: Third ODI Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

We head into the third and final ODI between India and Sri Lanka with the series locked at 1-1.

Rohit Sharma monstered a superb double-century in Mohali, ensuring Sunday will bring a showdown rather than a deadrubber, with the hosts on the brink of yet another ODI series victory for 2017.

All the hard work achieved across victory in the first ODI was quickly undone by heavy defeat in the second, effectively leaving the visitors back at square one ahead of the third.

India v Sri Lanka | Sunday 17 December | Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Stadium | 10:00

To Win Match
India 21/100 | Tie 35/1 | Sri Lanka 7/2

India
Sharma's dominance in Chandigarh quickly restored the supremacy India let slip in Dharamsala - and one fancies the momentum will comfortably carry to Visakhapatnam, where they've lost only one ODI in six attempts.

The home side's willingness to blood 18-year-old spinner Washington Sundar in a crucial fixture spoke volumes of their eagerness to test the bench strength in planning for the future - and Sandar will probably play ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal again.

Once again, Dinesh Karthik and Mandish Pandey were not genuinely tested earlier this week, but will have to step up if the batsmen above them don't. Like they did with Mahendra Singh Dhoni in Mohali, India might want to elevate Karthik or Pandey to four in the order this time.

The decision to give Hardik Pandya the new ball ahead of Jasprit Bumrah could continue. While their have been plenty of questions around Pandya's ability to act as the third specialist seamer, affording him a bowler sooner in the innings seems a step in the right direction.

Conditions at Sunday's venue are not expected to be anything particularly out of the ordinary, with the toss-winning captain likely to bat first on a deck that could quicken up as play progresses. High temperatures and humidity levels, meanwhile, are predicted - and no rain.

Sri Lanka
Having reduced the opposition to 29 for seven and then conceded almost 400 a couple of days later, the highs and lows currently being experienced by Sri Lanka are, indeed, out of kilter. But where to from here?

Interim head coach Nic Pothas, who will vacate the post soon, insists the right formula and combinations are gradually being found. But, really, this is not happening quickly enough - and loyal fans deserve better.

Aside from Angelo Mathews' graduation to three figures, there were far too many starts without substantial conversion in the second ODI. Lahiru Thirimanne, who is in the middle of a difficult stretch of form, needs to dig much deeper.

Suranga Lakmal faces a defining fixture. The hero in the first match but absolutely spanked to all corners of the park in the second, the talented seamer requires a telling response, especially with a handful of others eager to pounce on his berth in the XI.

Sri Lanka last played an ODI in Visakhapatnam a decade ago. They lost, but would do well to draw inspiration from the West Indies triumph here four years ago. The Windies were underdogs then - and the Sri Lankans certainly are now.

Verdict: India 21/100
Too much went wrong, too quickly, for Sri Lanka in Mohali - and India have certainly seized the momentum - and won't likely relent for a straightforward series win, albeit not a whitewash.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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