India hope to get even with Sri Lanka in skipper Dhoni’s backyard

Friday, 12 February 2016 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



PTI: Ranchi: Handed a rude shock by an inexperienced Sri Lankan side in the first match, India would

look to get even and keep the series alive when they take on the visitors in the second Twenty20 international here on Friday.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni had described the green Pune track as ‘English’ but he should have no such apprehensions in his own backyard as Ranchi prepares to hosting its first-ever T20I.

India have not lost a game out of three ODIs played here and runs in the vicinity of 300 have been scored in three innings. So a high-scoring game is expected when the teams clash at the JSCA International Stadium Complex.

Amid some concerns about an ‘under-prepared’ outfield which could pose some problems for fielders, JSCA officials have admitted that they didn’t get enough time to prepare the turf. Many rough patches are visible on the bald, sand-based outfield.

The Sri Lankan inexperienced pace trio of Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera and Dasun Shanaka made a good impression on a lively track but they will be tested in what is expected to be a belter in Ranchi.

In Australia, where India won 3-0, the Indian middle and lower order hardly got a chance to bat, courtesy supreme form of the top-order batsmen.

But the collapse in Pune brought all batsmen to the crease, a point made by Dhoni while explaining an otherwise comprehensive defeat. Dhoni himself is in need of some confidence-boosting knocks. The remaining two matches in this series and the upcoming Asia Cup is where he can get his mojo back before the World Twenty20.

His image as one of the best finishers of the game has taken a beating with repeated failures and for setting things right, his home ground is an ideal platform.

It will only be beneficial for India if Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuvraj Singh and Hardik Pandya get more overs under their belt before the big event kicks in.

Dhoni would also like to give pacers Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah more opportunities and it will be interesting to see if Bhuvneshwar Kumar gets a game. With Ashwin doing a reasonably good job, Harbhajan Singh may have to sit out again.