India will have to win 2nd ODI to stay alive in the series © AFP
India will have to win 2nd ODI to stay alive in the series © AFP

India, led by Rohit Sharma, face Sri Lanka in their do-or-die second ODI at the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali, Chandigarh. India will be put on yet another similar challenge on a pitch that naturally favours pacers. Sri Lanka, who have the advantage, will be eager for an outright series win. It will provide them with some positives after the 0-1 defeat in the Test series. Ahead of the Mohali ODI, here are some key battles that can be expected.

Sri Lanka pacers vs India’s top-order: The conditions at Dharamsala had helped fast bowlers. Sri Lanka won a good toss to put India to bat. Led by Suranga Lakmal, the Sri Lankan pacers ran through the top-order Indian batting and reduced them to 29 for 7 before MS Dhoni did some damage control. The conditions will not differ much as the match takes place in Mohali. This gives Sri Lanka another chance to topple India’s batting and India a chance to better their performance for upcoming South Africa tour.

Dinesh Karthik vs Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane’s lean form in the Tests was probably the reason Rohit had opted for the in-form Dinesh Karthik at No. 4 at Dharamsala, However, Rahane holds a brilliant record on pitches similar to Mohali and Dharamsala that made Sourav Ganguly vouch for him. Rohit will surely be left in dilemma regarding India’s No. 4.

MS Dhoni vs Thisara Perera: After their disastrous start, India were revived by Dhoni’s rearguard act. Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep seemed lethal and the experienced Dhoni made sure he saw them off. Then he took on Thisara once the latter came to bowl. However, Thisara had the last laugh, dismissing Dhoni in the end.

Lahiru Thirimanne vs form: Coming into the tour, Thirimanne was among Sri Lanka’s biggest hopes. However, barring a half-century, Thirimanne failed, especially when his side needed him to stand up. Thirimanne will get another chance with the ODI to prove his potential.