Rohit Sharma has taken a liking to his new fielding position in ODI cricket. He has been fielding in the slips for the ongoing series against Sri Lanka and took a sensational catch to dismiss Kusal Mendis in the 3rd ODI. It incidentally was the 100th catch of his international career.
Slip fielding has been a real issue for Virat Kohli and his men in all formats of the game over the last few seasons. Sharma is one of India's brilliant outfield-fielders who usually struggles in the slips.
However, he proved the naysayers wrong with his terrific effort at second slip today. Flying to his right, he plucked the ball out of thin air as soon as it caught an edge off Mendis' bat. He managed to get both his hands on the ball to complete a clean catch at the end of it all.
Jasprit Bumrah is breathing fire so far in the innings and has already picked up two wickets. Bhuvneshwar Kumar is getting the ball to swing but has not been able to draw blood as of yet. The pacer has been wicket-less in the series so far and needs a couple of dismissals under his belt today.
Sharma's 100 international catches have come in 242 matches. He has 22 catches in T20 internationals and Tests each, while Mendis was his 46th grab in ODI cricket.
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Sri Lanka's regular captain, Upul Tharanga, is unavailable for this game as well as the 4th ODI courtesy a suspension due to slow over-rate in the last match. Dinesh Chandimal has replaced him in the batting order, while Chamara Kapugedera is the interim captain.
Kohli and Co. will look to seal the series with a victory in this match so that they are free to experiment in the remainder of the series. The Indian skipper has persisted with the same playing XI from the first two games, thereby picking Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal while benching Kuldeep Yadav.
Sharma has been in good touch in the series and already has a half-century to his name. Ajinkya Rahane had a brilliant series against West Indies in July and his performance has put considerable pressure on Sharma for retaining his opening slot. Sharma will thus look to make an impact with the bat so as to turn this game into an all-around success for him.