IND v SL, 3rd ODI, 2022-23: India record biggest ODI win in terms of runs (317), perform clean sweep
India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd ODI, Top Performances: Virat Kohli's 46th ton (166), Shubman Gill's 116 and Mohammed Siraj's 4-32 are top performances. India beat Sri Lanka and record biggest ODI win in terms of runs (317).
Brief Scores: India 390-5 (Kohli 166*, Gill 116, Kumara 2-81) beat Sri Lanka 73 (Nuwanidu Fernando 19, Siraj 4-32, Shami 2-20, Kuldeep 2-16) by 317 runs
Player of the Match & Series: Virat Kohli – 166* (110); 283 runs in series at an average of 141.5
India took on Dasun Shanaka’s Sri Lanka in an inconsequential game at the Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram on the auspicious day of Makar Sankranti. The day was even more special as India won the series 3-0 by sealing the game by a whopping margin of 317 runs (the highest ever win margin in ODIs by any team).
The hosts won the toss on a dry surface and chose to bat first. As expected, India made two changes as they gave a game to Suryakumar Yadav and Washington Sundar. Sri Lanka too made a couple of changes following their twin losses in the first two games.
India’s approach in the powerplay, a possible cause of concern?
Though India won fairly without much fuss, the team’s upper order approach in the initial powerplay overs has been lacklustre. Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill made a sedate start with the Indian skipper making only 42 from 49 balls, and the latter scoring at a run a ball at the same stage. Though it didn’t cause any harm in this game due to Virat Kohli’s swashbuckling knock, the approach may not work come the ODI World Cup and in this day and age.
India did manage to score 390, thanks to a gem of a knock from India’s number 3 Virat Kohli (166* off 110) but the team’s reliance on making up at the end overs may not always work. So, it is high time that openers make the best use of powerplay or India try players like Ishan Kishan or Ruturaj Gaikwad who play fearless cricket at the top.
Virat Kohli takes India to 390-5
After opting to bat first, India’s openers, Shubman Gill and skipper Rohit Sharma, got the hosts off to a good start, with the 6th over of the innings bowled by Lahiru Kumara going for 23 runs. This gave India the much-needed momentum as the pair of Gill and Rohit made merry on a dry surface with inconsistent bounce scoring 75/0 in the first 10 overs.
Rohit who was well set to make a long pending big score, departed for 42 to a nothing delivery off Chamika Karunaratne. Virat Kohli who was at his sublime best in the first ODI was in his elements as on the very second ball he scored a boundary through a cover drive.
From then on it was the Gill-Virat show and the duo played some stunning strokes in the middle. Within no time, the present and future of Indian cricket brought up their 50-run stand with Gill getting to his 50 off 52 balls. Both of them upped the ante scoring the next 50 runs in 47 deliveries with Kohli reaching his 65th ODI half-century and Gill his 2nd ODI ton.
Once Gill got out, Virat showed his true class as the legendary player transitioned from 50 to 100 in only 37 deliveries. The former India skipper, in the company of Shreyas Iyer, added 108 runs for the 3rd wicket from 70 balls and this is the first time where India had three 90+ plus stands in ODIs for the first three wickets. Soon after reaching his 46th ODI ton, Kohli smashed the Lankan bowlers across the park as he made 66 runs off his last 25 balls. Despite loss of few wickets in the end, India made 390-5, their third 350+ score in the last four games.
If the target itself was not daunting enough, Sri Lanka’s chase got over even before it started. Mohammed Siraj sent back Avishka Fernando with a lovely outswinger and found the edge of Kusal Mendis in his very next over. Mohammed Shami got the wicket of Charith Asalanka off a nothing shot, while Siraj removed two more Sri Lanka batters within the powerplay overs as the visitors were reduced to 39-5.
India continued to chip away with the wickets, and it was one-way traffic as the Lankan batters produced a no-show in this dead rubber. It was a forgettable effort on the part of Sri Lanka as they got bowled out for a mere 73.
The Island team suffered a 317-run defeat which is the biggest loss in terms of runs in ODIs, surpassing the 290-run defeat endured by Ireland against New Zealand at Aberdeen way back in 2008.
This was also India’s biggest win in terms of runs in ODIs and also the biggest by any team in the history of the format.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the 3rd ODI between India and Sri Lanka played in Thiruvananthapuram.
Virat Kohli gets one step closer to 50 ODI centuries
The one good thing about Virat Kohli is the run machine he is when in form, and in the Thiruvananthapuram ODI, the champion batter smashed his 3rd ton in his last 4 innings in this format. Having shown that he is still a force to reckon in ODIs, Kohli made amends for his failure in the Kolkata game with a stunning show here.
Kohli was off the blocks quickly but slowed down a bit in the middle overs and got to his half-century in 52 deliveries. However, the 267-ODI veteran used all of the experience in his favourite format by reaching his ton in only 85 balls.
This was his 46th ODI century and he is now just four shy of crossing the mark set by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (49 hundreds). Also, this was Virat’s 10th ton against Sri Lanka in ODIs and became the first player to score 10 hundreds against a single opponent. With this ton, Kohli now has 21 centuries at home, the most by any player at home in the format.
What followed after his century was absolute carnage as Kohli got to his 5th ODI 150 in just 106 balls, the fastest ever in India. He eventually remained unbeaten on 166 from 110 deliveries taking India’s score to 390-5 in the process.
Shubman Gill gives India the perfect platform
Shubman Gill, India’s newest ODI big thing, continued to impress as an opener in this format making his 2nd ton in only his 18th ODI. With 894 runs, Gill has the most ODI runs by an India player at this stage of the ODI career.
All of these are good and his runs have come at a strike rate of over 103. However, if there is a thing, he could improve is his pacing of innings, especially in the powerplays. Gill reached his 50 off 52 runs which is relatively slow in the modern ODI game.
But Gill did improve his strike rate post reaching his half-century as the next 50 came in only 37 balls. The right-hander eventually perished in trying to up the ante after making a splendid 97-ball 117.
The ability of such a young batter inexperienced at this level to know when to accelerate is heartening to see. So, he is a clear positive for the team especially in the absence of a more experienced Shikhar Dhawan.
Mohammed Siraj blows away Sri Lanka’s top-order
If there is a bowler who has improved leaps and bounds in ODI format for India, it must be Mohammed Siraj. With over 20 wickets in the last one year or so, Siraj produced yet another cracking spell with the new ball.
In the first 10 overs, Siraj managed to trouble the Lankan batters with his inswingers, outswingers and the wobble seam presentation. He got 4 wickets with all of his variations and bowled almost unchanged ending with figures of 4-32.
Siraj finished the series with 9 wickets and will be a confident bowler heading into Cricket World Cup 2023.
India have 6 more home ODI games before the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 and they will feel that as a team they are on the right track going into the all-important World Cup later this year.