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Sri Lanka vs India 2017: Chamara Kapugedera apologises to the team after opting to bat first in the third ODI

India had won all the tosses on their tour to Sri Lanka before Kapugedera won it in the 3rd ODI.


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Kapugedera will not lead the team in the fourth ODI owing to an injury

What's the story?

Sri Lanka's stand in captain for the third ODI of the ongoing series, Chamara Kapugedera baffled everyone, including his teammates and support staff, with his decision to bat first after winning the toss. According to reports in The Island, the skipper ended up apologising to the team for the decision as it was decided by the team management pre-match that in case the coin spins in the hosts' favour, they will be opting to chase.

A source - supposedly one of the members of the Sri Lankan support staff - close to the aforementioned website told them, "Nobody knows why he opted to bat. Everyone started questioning why you did that and eventually Kapugedera apologized to the team.

"The message had been conveyed to the team that we will be chasing and then this happened," he added.

In case you didn't know...

Indian captain, Virat Kohli went into the match with a perfect record on the Sri Lankan tour - five matches (3 tests, 2 ODIs), five wins. Not only that, Kohli had also won all the five tosses so far on the tour - naturally opting to bat first in the three test matches and bat second in the two ODIs.

Kapuedera would have heaved a sigh of relief when he won the toss in a must-win match for the hosts. However, instead of playing to their strength and fielding first, the captain decided to have a go with the bat.

The heart of the matter

The 30-year-old middle order batsman was asked to lead the side in absence of Sri Lanka's limited over captain Upul Tharanga, who was handed a two-match ban because of slow over rate in the second ODI. However, his decision to bat first backfired as expected and India went on to win the match, and the series with it, with six wickets in hand.

The support staff member went on to say that the stand-in skipper had a moment of 'brain-fade', a term thrown around at will in the cricketing circles since the 'Steve Smith incident'.

Sri Lankan batsmen then failed to justify the puzzling decision of their captain and managed 217 runs in the 50 overs as Jasprit Bumrah ran riot, bagging his bagging his maiden five-wicket haul.

India then, after an early hiccup, managed to chase down the score with the help of Rohit Sharma's century and MS Dhoni's half century.

What's Next?

With Tharanga out from the next ODI as well because of the two-match ban, and Kapugedera injured, Lasith Malinga will be leading the side in the fourth match, which will be played on Thursday 31st August.

Author's Take

While the responsibility of all the on-field decisions lies solely on the shoulders of the skipper, the team management does play a big role in opting whether to bat first or chase in case the spin of coin goes in favour of the team. Therefore, Kapugedera's decision to go against the pre-designated plan, when for once the hosts won the toss, was indeed a moment of *tongue-in-cheek* 'brain-fade'!

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