Team India's surprise victory in the third ODI

India won their second ODI in a row against Sri Lanka, this time far more convincingly than the first victory. Positive signs for India from this match: Dhoni’s form, Raina’s return to form, Rohit Sharma’s useful contribution with the bat, and India’s early breaks thanks to the fast bowlers, particularly Zaheer Khan. The issues for concern: Yuvraj Singh’s continuing poor form, and lack of a strike bowler/wicket taking bowler.

As for Sri Lanka the two main areas of concern: the repeated failure of the top order and the fact that many in the Indian batting ranks are getting more comfortable playing Mendis. With just rtwo more matches to go, Sri Lanka will be under extra pressure in the upcoming match to keep the series alive. Dhoni and his boys should be eager to wrap this up despite appearing to be the weaker team at the start of the series.

Dhoni deserves credit for choosing to persist with Rohit Sharma. Pathan’s bowling fom has been suspect and in the current circumstance, he is unlikely to suffice as the strike bowler that India badly needs. So its likely that India will persist with the four bowler combination for the rest of this series. Yusuf Pathan with his off-spinners and big-hitting capabilities might have been a useful alternative.

The best part about this ODI series continues to be the nature of the pitches. Bowlers have a very good chance of performing well on these wickets. So batting is a lot harder and hence all matches so far have been low scoring games. Cricket playing countries around the world will do well to prepare such bowler friendly wickets for ODIs and T20s.

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