Indian spinners make Lankans toil, young guns fire

DAMBULLA: After defeating Sri Lankan team in the first one day international match against Sri Lanka, Indian team is riding high on confidence. It seemed that seemers will be the key match turners for India; however, it was spinners who made life hard for the Sri Lankan team.

Before the match commenced, spin department looked bleak after the selectors decided to rest top guns R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for the five-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.

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However, much to the happiness of Indian cricket lovers, their second-string spinners stepped up the plate in the first ODI and laid the foundation for the team’s nine-wicket victory here on Sunday.

It was a bold decision on the part of team management to go in with left-arm spinner c, leaving Kuldeep Yadav, who was instrumental in destroying the Lankans in the last Test at Pallekele, on the bench.

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Talking about the team combination, Kohli later explained: “Axar brings something with the bat and he’s a good fielder too. We felt one wrist spinner was enough. In another match, we might bring in a pacer or play three spinners. It’s all about getting the balance right.”

Both Patel and Chahal are relatively new to international cricket. While Patel last played against New Zealand at home in October last year, Chahal showed up against England in the T20 series at home in January-February. Both came here straight from South Africa where they were playing for India ‘A ‘ in the tri-series there.

While Patel was flown in as cover for Jadeja after the latter was banned for the last Test, Chahal joined the side after the end of the tri-series. Hence they got little time to adapt to the Lankan conditions which were quite different from those in South Africa.

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