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Sri Lanka batsmen could not have asked for a better surface to bat on to chase down a record total — the highest ever in Champions Trophy. Leave aside Niroshan Dickwella, no batsmen failed. They cruised to the total. At no time they looked in trouble as India bowlers struggled to pick wickets or even contain the Sri Lanka batsmen.
Virat Kohli was left searching for a bowler as soon as the 20th over. Ravindra Jadeja had conceded 13 runs off his first two overs. He was supposed to pick wickets but he leaked runs for India. Kohli had to remove him after his four over spell which costed him 36 runs. That spell turned the game in Sri Lanka’s favour.
It was a big reflection of India’s bowling woes when Kohli brought himself on in the 28th over. Thankfully, he did not continue for long but it showed that India main bowlers struggled to give the start that the captain from them.
India’s plan to play five bowlers, including one spinner, had paid off in the previous match against Pakistan. But here, with the pacers not picking up the early wickets, there was pressure on the first change bowler.
The recklessness of India’s bowling can be seen by the fact that they could pick only one wicket in the game. Out of the six batsmen that came to the middle for Sri Lanka, only one was dismissed by a bowler. Two wickets were run out while one retired-hurt.
Hardik Pandya, who had been included as a seam allrounder, is not a bowler that can be counted to complete his 10 overs and not be a cause of trouble for the team. He could have been used to slip in a few overs after India have picked some early wickets. That did not happen on Thursday. As a result of the spineless bowling, Sri Lanka won the game with eight ball remaining.