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IND v SL, 1st ODI, 2022-23: Kohli's 73rd ton, pacers' sharpness help India begin CWC year with win

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Top Performances: Virat Kohli's 73rd ton (113), Rohit Sharma-Shubman Gill's 143-run opening stand and Dasun Shanaka's 108 are top performances as India beat Sri Lanka by 67 runs. India lead three-match ODI series by 1-0 margin.

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Top Performances: Virat Kohli smashes 73rd career hundred, 45th ODI hundred | Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Virat Kohli smashes 73rd career hundred, 45th in ODI (Source: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Brief Scores: India 373-7 (Kohli 113, Rohit 83, Rajitha 3-88) beat Sri Lanka 306-8 (Shanaka 108*, Nissanka 72, Malik 3-57) by 67 runs

Player of the Match: Virat Kohli 113 (87)

After winning the three-match T20I series 2-1, India took on their neighbours Sri Lanka in the first of the three-ODI series at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. The hosts India won the largely lop-sided contest by 67 runs to go 1-0 up in the series.

Though Dasun Shanaka’s century delayed the inevitable, India always were ahead in the game right from the start. Virat Kohli’s 45th ODI century was the major highlight of the game and it paved for a 67-run Indian win in the end.

Ishan Kishan overlooked for Shubman Gill

The major talking point about this game was the fact that Shubman Gill was picked ahead of Ishan Kishan despite the latter scoring a double-century in the last ODI he played. This being a world cup year, Rohit Sharma stated before the start of the game that they wanted to give a longer rope to Gill who averages 58.23 from 16 ODIs at a strike rate of 100.53.

At the same time, Ishan’s strike rate is a staggering 111.97 but he has been inconsistent compared to Gill. However, Rohit did mention all is not over for Ishan KIshan.

Another selection that was debated was the non-inclusion of Suryakumar Yadav especially after his exploits in T20Is of late. KL Rahul who is doubling up as wicketkeeper was picked ahead of SKY who strikes at 102 but averages just 32 in ODIs. Again, SKY is inconsistent while KL Rahul averages close to 44 in ODIs.

Although Shubman and Rahul have better averages than Ishan and Surya, but averages are insignificant as compared to strike rates in the modern era. So, the team management would have a really tough time on where to lean upon.

Sri Lanka put India in to bat

Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka once again won the toss and elected to field first citing the fact that dew could play a huge role in the second-half of the game. For India, all the usual suspects in the batting order namely Virat Kohli, skipper Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul returned to the side after missing the T20I series. Sri Lanka largely played with a consistent team that they are used to playing recently.

India’s openers give team a dream start

Rohit Sharma was off to a blazing start on his return from injury and so did Shubman Gill who has had a dream start to his ODI career thus far. The pair made 75 runs in the powerplay bringing up their 100-run stand in 89 deliveries and brought up individual half-centuries. The post 10-over period was also productive for the team as the duo further added 68 runs from 58 balls in that period before Shanaka trapped Gill for 70.

Rohit continued to play his shots and his attacking instincts caused his downfall after a blistering 83 off 67 balls. Virat Kohli who scored a ton in his last ODI, was at his free-flowing best and he breezed along first in the company of Shreyas Iyer (28 off 24) and then KL Rahul (39 off 29).

The former India skipper was dropped twice, and he went on to make Sri Lanka pay by bringing up his 45th ODI ton in the process. India were headed for a 400-run plus finish in this game but regular and some disciplined bowling by Sri Lanka bowlers restricted India to 373-7 which was still a daunting target.

Dasun Shanaka’s century goes in vain

The visitors chasing 374 were off to the worst possible start with Mohammed Siraj getting rid of the opener Avishka Fernando and number 3 batter Kusal Mendis for a duck. Pathum Nissanka played his usual well-timed shots as the team was reduced to 38-2 in the powerplay.

Umran Malik bowled a fast spell and one of his victims was the dangerous Charith Asalanka. Dhananjaya de Silva along with Nissanka forged a 72-run stand before the former was sent back for 47 by Shami. The game was long lost when Sri Lanka lost three quick wickets and Umran Malik accounted for two of those including that of Nissanka.

Dasun Shanaka continued his love affair with India as he played a lone hand with the number 10 batter Kasun Rajitha. The pair brought up an unbeaten 100-run stand, with Shanaka making his 2nd ODI century as he reduced the margin of his team’s defeat.

Eventually, India won the game by 67 runs and the visitors will rue the fact they lost wickets in the early phase thanks to Siraj’s spell. Even in the middle-phase when De Silva and Nissanka were building a stand, Umran Malik found a way to keep the Lankans at bay.

Let’s scan the top three performances from the 1st ODI between India and Sri Lanka played in Guwahati.

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Top Performances_ Rohit Sharma-Shubman Gill added 143 runs for first wicket in Guwahati ODI _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Rohit -Shubman added 143 runs for first wicket in Guwahati ODI (Source: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill’s 143-run stand lays solid foundation for India

Rohit Sharma who missed quite a few matches recently due to injury made his presence felt almost immediately. He along with Shubman Gill played shots on merit and found boundaries at will. Both notched up their respective half-centuries (47th for Rohit and 5th for Gill) and played with aggressive intent almost throughout the game.

The newest Indian opening pair brought up their 1st century stand in ODIs from just 89 balls and added a further 43 runs in a mere 29 balls. Eventually, the partnership was broken when Shanaka trapped Gill in front for 70. Rohit also missed a well-deserved century by 17 runs when Madushanka cleaned him up.

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Top Performances_ Virat Kohli smashes 73rd career hundred, 45th ODI hundred _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Virat Kohli smashes 73rd career hundred (Source: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Virat Kohli scored his 2nd consecutive ODI century

The champion India batter showed his class and league when it comes to ODI cricket. Virat Kohli hadn’t scored a ODI ton in over 3 years till the beginning of the last month, but he now has two in two games (smashed 113 vs Bangladesh in his last innings) and this is his 45th ton in ODIs & 73rd overall.

The Rohit-Gill pair had made 143 runs when Virat walked in to the crease and the right-hander continued from where Gill had left. He rotated the strike, milked runs like he usually does, and found gaps at will, eventually reaching his half-century in 47 balls.

He was dropped twice - once by Kusal Mendis at 53 and then by Shanaka - and he made them pay in the best way possible. Kohli’s 113 helped India reach 373-7 despite wickets falling towards the end of the innings.

It seems his prolonged dry patch in his favourite format is over wherein he made 1185 from 28 innings post-CWC 2019 at a strike-rate of 93.08. With players like Rahul Tripathi and Rajat Patidar waiting in the wings, pressure was mounting a little on Kohli. However, his recent hundreds in ODIs may have settled the debate about his spot in the format, at least for the immediate present.

India vs Sri Lanka, 1st ODI, Top Performances_ Dasun Shanaka's 108 off 88 goes in vain as Sri Lanka lost to India in Guwahati _ Walking Wicket (Source_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Dasun Shanaka's 108 off 88 goes in vain (Source: ©BCCI/Twitter)

Dasun Shanaka’s superlative century goes in vain

Dasun Shanaka was once again the saviour for his team and he helped Sri Lanka from enduring a heavy defeat in the first ODI. When Shanaka arrived at the crease, the island nation was struggling at 136-4 in the 25th over. And two more wickets fell in the next few overs as they slipped further.

But Shanaka who had a wonderful T20I series continued his stupendous show against India. He waged a lone war bringing up his half-century in 50 balls and 2nd ODI century in just 87 balls as Sri Lanka reached 306-8 in the final analysis.

What’s Next

With India 1-0 ahead, the teams move to the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata for the 2nd ODI game on January 12.

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