Sri Lanka vs India 2017, 4th ODI: 5 talking points
India continued their dominance over Sri Lanka as they trounced their neighbours by 168 runs in the 4th ODI at Colombo to take an unassailable 4-0 lead in the 5-match series. Having already sealed the series in the previous match, Virat Kohli decided to implement some changes in the playing XI by including Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, and Shardul Thakur while resting Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Batting first, tons from skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma assisted by Manish Pandey’s 50 and MS Dhoni’s 49 took India to a mammoth total of 375/5. Amongst the Lankan bowlers, Angelo Mathews was the pick of them with 2/24 from his 6 overs. While Lasith Malinga was very expensive with 1/82 from his 10 overs, his solitary wicket (that of Virat Kohli) was his 300th ODI wicket which made him only the 4th Sri Lankan after Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, and Sanath Jayasuriya to achieve this feat.
In reply, Sri Lanka were bowled out for 207 with Mathews being the lone fighter with his 80-ball 70. Amongst the Indian bowlers, Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, and Kuldeep Yadav took two wickets apiece while Shardul Thakur bowled an economical spell on his debut with his 1/26 from 7 overs. Axar Patel took the key wicket of Mathews.
With India close to whitewashing the hosts in the ODI series, let’s take a look at five talking points from today’s match.
#5. KL Rahul unable to make his mark in ODIs
KL Rahul has been one of India’s most consistent players in Tests in the past 12-15 months as he was brilliant during the Tour of West Indies as well as in the series against New Zealand, England, and Australia. Despite being out of cricket for a good four months due to injury, Rahul managed to perform well in the Tests against Sri Lanka as well and he scored a fifty in each innings he played.
Rahul has also been able to perform well in the T20 format as he scored a monumental 110 against West Indies last year before performing fairly well against England earlier this year where he scored 71 in the second T20I.
However, he has been unable to perform in the ODI format as has been proven in his last few innings. During India’s ODI series against England, the right-hander scored 24 runs in all three ODIs combined at a dismal average of 8 and at an economy rate of 60, whereas he averaged 58.25 during the Test series.
Similarly, against Sri Lanka, he scored 142 from two innings at an average of 71 in tests but has scored 28 runs in his three ODI innings combined, scoring just 7 today. What Rahul can do now is enhance his game so that he can perform in the ODI format too because if he's not able to turn the tides, then he might as well find himself out of the 50-over-team soon.