India looking to extend lead against Sri Lanka

July 23rd, 2012 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Virender Sehwag Colombo, July 23 (IANS) India will look to building up on their 1-0 lead when they take on Sri Lanka in the second One-day International Tuesday at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota.

India beat Sri Lanka by 21 runs in the first ODI as Virat Kohli and former captain Kumar Sangakarra both scored brilliant hundreds for their respective teams. Sangakarra’s 133 went in vain as his team failed to overhaul India’s score of 314.

India’s vice-captain Kohli will look to capitalise on his great form that has seen him hit four centuries in his last five innings. The islanders were dealt a heavy blow, losing one of their top bowlers, Nuwan Kulasekara, to a groin injury.

The medium pacer injured himself while trying to take Virender Sehwag’s catch and hobbled off the field. He has been replaced by Nuwan Pradeep for the remaining four ODIs.

If India win the series 5-0 they will go to the top of the ICC team rankings.

Indian opener Virender Sehwag, who hit a valuable 96 in the first ODI, said it was important for him to get back among the runs.

“It was very important for me to score runs and provide a good start to my team. I hadn’t scored runs in Australia and this innings is important for me as we will be playing a lot of Tests and ODIs,” said Sehwag, who is making a comeback after recovering from a shoulder injury.

Sehwg said a good start by him will make a difference to the team’s result.

“It’s not important whether I get a big score or not but if I can give a good start and add around 50 to 100 runs for the first wicket, it helps the team. As far as my individual performance is concerned, I hope that I will score one in the next match,” he said.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said the team must find a way to stop Kohli.

“I think initially when he started his career, we picked up his wicket quickly,” Jayawardene said. “But like any good player he has come up with a game plan and he is executing that pretty well. Just the last few occasions he has got more confident against our bowling attack. It’s up to us now to come up with a game plan.”

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