Dhawan, spinners put India 1-0 up

21 August 2017, 06:19 | Andres Norman

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Virat Kohli will be there in Sri Lanka for as long as September as the Indian cricket team will be playing a Test series, 5 One Day Internationals and a Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka. These were the grouses of interim coach Nic Pothas following the nine-wicket drubbing at the hands of India, in the first ODI in Dambulla.

India won the opening game by 9 wickets. The target that was given by Sri Lanka was of 216 in 43.2 overs. Dhawan started from where he left off in the Test series, getting off the mark with a couple and from then on there was no looking back for the opener. Dhawan lost Rohit Sharma to a run out but he displayed the same kind of boundary-hitting form that he had displayed during his two hundreds in the Test series.

Kohli also said that now the team is all set for the 2019 World Cup and now one can expect a lot of changes in the team.

Only time can reveal if Sri Lanka will challenge India in this limited overs contest. With Kusal Mendis for company, Dickwella was able to get Sri Lanka's run-rate up despite the wicket. Even though the selectors made a decision to rest key players like Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, the Virat Kohli led team looks stronger on paper.

Left-arm spinner Axar Patel (3/34), playing his first worldwide match since October previous year, was the stand out bowler for India with a career-best figure.

Mathews apart, other middle-order batsmen Upul Tharanga (13), Chamara Kapugedera (1) Wanidu Hasaranga (2) scored a total of 16 runs only. Things did not go per plan for the visitors as the Sri Lankan openers, Niroshan Dickwella (64) and Danushka Gunathilaka (35) added a solid 55 runs in the first powerplay.

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India comes into the series with an ODI series and last time in the ODI series India already defeated West Indies following the final run which was the Champions Trophy. Hence, one must cheer for their team even when they are striving to turn the game in their favour.

In the same passage of play, Bumrah cleaned up Thisara Perera (0) with a handsome yorker and Lanka's hopes of a challenging total all but vanished.

PLAYING CONDITIONS: Dambulla's pitch has always favoured batsmen.

"Every team goes through a rough patch", Tharanga said in a statement from Sri Lanka Cricket.

So Dhawan and Rohit will continue to open the innings while Ajinkya Rahane will only serve as a reserve opener.

He was ably supported by Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kedar Jadhav as they all chipped in with two-two wickets each.

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