India looks to consolidate lead

Published : 9:10 am  August 31, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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Dhoni’s landmark 300th ODI in focus


The fourth One-Day International between India and Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium today (31) will have M. S. Dhoni under the spotlight as the former Indian Captain gears up for his 300th ODI.

Virat Kohli will hope for the team to continue their rampant run but would also be looking forward to an improved show with the bat after Dhoni had to pair up with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Rohit Sharma in the previous two ODIs to bail the visitors out. 

fgydConsidered one of the greatest finishers in 50-over cricket, Dhoni will join India’s elite ‘Club 300’, which has Sachin Tendulkar (463), Rahul Dravid (344), Mohammed Azharuddin (334), Sourav Ganguly (311) and Yuvraj Singh (304).

The unbeaten knocks of 45 and 67 under pressure is a proof that he is still not finished and his eyes are firmly set on the 50-over World Cup of 2019.

The series already sealed with an unassailable 3-0 lead, Virat Kohli’s next aim would be to give a chance to players who have only warmed the benches so far such as Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur.

Kohli himself had a couple of low scoring games and he would look to get back to scoring some more runs along with K. L. Rahul, who has not exactly looked comfortable in an unfamiliar No. 4 position.

fgydWhile India have some ‘happy problems’ to deal with Sri Lanka are in deep trouble, trying to field a potent first XI.

Lasith Malinga will lead the side in the fourth ODI, with suspended Captain Upul Tharanga expected to handle the reins in the final ODI on September 3 as well as the solitary T20I on September 6. Dhananjaya de Silva and Dilshan Munaweera have been added to the squad as covers. 

Extra security 

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will deploy unprecedented security for today’s game to prevent a repeat of crowd trouble which broke out following a humiliating defeat for the home side, police said.

Some 1,000 additional police will be deployed at the 35,000-seat capacity R. Premadasa Stadium while CCTV cameras will be used to monitor the crowds, police said in a statement.

“Any spectator who throws any bottles or projectiles at the players will be immediately arrested,” they said.