Indian pacers ran riot in the second ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday, bowling out the visitors for a meagre score of 108 runs. Mohammed Shami emerged as the pick of the bowlers, picking up 3 wickets for 18 runs while Mohammed Siraj also looked brilliant with the new ball, picking up 1 wicket for just 10 runs in 6 overs. The two wanted to continue testing the Kiwi batters in bowling-friendly conditions but had to be pushed away by skipper Rohit Sharma.
Seeing the sort of help pacers were getting in the middle, Shami and Siraj were said to be keen on continuing their exploits but Rohit stepped in and decided to hand the ball to other bowlers.
Speaking at the post-match presentation cermeony, Rohit admitted that he had to intervene as Siraj and Shami weren’t willing to step aside.
“They (Shami and Siraj) were raring to keep bowling long spells but I reminded them that there is a Test series coming up as well (Australia at home), so we need to take care of ourselves as well. I need to step in and draw the line and say ‘boss, there are other bowlers as well”, he said.
The India captain was full of praise for Indian bowlers for their performances in the match. He said: “I thought these last five games, the bowlers have really stepped up. Whatever we have asked of them, they have delivered. Especially doing this in India. You can expect these performances away from India, but they have real skills. When we trained here yesterday in the night, it moved around, there was good carry. Which is why we wanted that challenge: 250 would have been quite challenging.”
Speaking about the win and the game plan for the second ODI, he said, “We trained yesterday and the ball was nipping around under lights. We knew that if they had 250 or so, it might have been challenging for us but that was the point of opting to chase. We batted first last game, so the idea was to challenge ourselves. Not sure what I’ll do at Indore (in the final game). The confidence is high within the group and that’s great to see.”
With the win in the second ODI, India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3-match series.
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