SL in Ind: Must win game for Lankans on Sunday

17 December 2017 - 60   - 0

Last Wednesday's (13) Lankan centurion Angelo Mathews has been declared fit for the decisive third and final ODI to be played at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam on Sunday (17) -- which would be a day-night affair. 

Mathews suffered cramps during his unbeaten 111 in the second ODI in Mohali. 

On the back of Rohit Sharma’s third ODI double century, India thrashed Sri Lanka by 141 runs to level the series with one-match to go after visitors posted a surprise seven-wicket win under seaming conditions in Dharamsala. 

According to reports Mathews has bowled and batted without any problem at the nets. 

"He has recovered from cramps, he suffered at the end of the last game. He bowled as well as batted in the nets today. All our 15 members are fit and available for selection," 

Sri Lanka team manager Asanka Gurusinha told reporters. 

Mathews has had a long history of leg injuries particularly in 2017. 

He suffered a torn hamstring during Sri Lanka’s tour of South Africa and did not play international cricket until the Champions Trophy in June. 

He had also missed a tri-series in Zimbabwe late last year due to "multiple injuries" in his legs. 

In all probability Sri Lanka will play an unchanged team for the do-or-die battle even though the forms of a few players, particularly Lahiru Thirimanne has been a big concern. 

Thirimanne has scored just 90 runs in four innings, with a best of 51 in the opening Test in Kolkata during the Test series and has returned scores of 0, 21 in the first two ODIs. 

However, he is likely to keep his place in the side as Sri Lanka eye a rare opportunity to win the series. 

"It is a good opportunity to win the series,” Sri Lanka skipper Thisara Perera said. 

“Not many teams have won a series in India. We want to do something special like we did in Dharamsala. If we can repeat that performance, we will win." 

Sri Lanka's chief selector Graeme Labrooy who is in constant touch with the Lankan team said "We have no injury worries in this game and it very unlikely that there would be any changes. 

We have to stick to the best playing XI for this game because we are looking to win the match and win the series". 

Going into the crucial game, Sri Lanka’s biggest worry will be there fast bowling with Thisara Perera and Nuwan Pradeep conceding more than 10 runs per over as India made a run feast in Mohali. 

On the other hand Indians are brimming with confidence after their heroic batting display in the second match and will push ahead for a comfortable win in the series decider. 

The opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Sharma is expected to get India off to a flying start yet again. 

Young gun Shreyas Iyer who looked in good nick in the second ODI must have gained a lot of confidence after his knock of 88. 

He will be looking forward to making full use of his opportunities in the upcoming matches. 

India are unlikely to make any changes to the side that battered the Lankans in the second ODI. 

Kuldeep Yadav is an outside bet to replace off-spinner Washington Sundar who made his debut in the second ODI. 

Probable Indian XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal. 

Probable Sri Lankan XI: Thisara Perera (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Asela Gunaratne, Sachith Pathirana, Suranga Lakmal, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep.

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