Team India is, for a change, not in the limelight as far as cricket is concerned. Captain Virat Kohli and long-time girlfriend Anushka Sharma got married in Italy on Monday and the entire attention of cricket fans, the media and everyone else is by an large focused on that. That leaves the side in a relatively unfamiliar situation of preparing for a must-win match as they take on Sri Lanka in the 2nd ODI of the three-match series at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali today. The humiliating loss in the 1st ODI in Dharamsala was not just a danger signal for the series but also raises questions about the series in South Africa, where the conditions won’t be great for the batsmen.
Mohali won’t be as cold as Dharamsala but the pacers should come into play considering it is another 11:30 a.m. start to the day-night affair. In that case, it will be another test for the Indian batsmen if the home team happens to bat first in a must-win contest. Barring old war-horse MS Dhoni, the highly-rated batsmen seemed like sitting ducks every time Suranga Lakmal pitched the ball up in the off-stump corridor. After the experienced Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan fell early, it was an ideal opportunity for the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey to weather the initial storm and make a big score. However, they all came a cropper and if it was not for Dhoni’s fighting 65, India could well be out for their lowest ever total. If it was one person, who would be gutted looking at his teams’ performance, it would be Kohli, who opted out of the series to get married to Anushka in Italy.