Rahane Dhawan India
India openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan will look to continue their dominance with the bat in the 2nd ODI against Sri LankaPal Pillai/Sportzpics/BCCI

India stormed past an underprepared Sri Lanka with consummate ease in the first ODI in Cuttack, and now Virat Kohli and his band of blue-clad men will look to take a 2-0 lead in the series with victory in Ahmedabad in the 2nd ODI on Thursday.

Kohli, the stand-in captain in the place of the rested MS Dhoni, could not have asked for a better all-round performance from his team. The batsmen came to the fore after being put into bat, with openers Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan making merry, putting on a partnership of well over 200 to set the tone for the rest of the innings.

Chasing a score of over 360, Sri Lanka never threatened, with the India bowlers strangling the batsmen to great effect as only Mahela Jayawardene put even a semblance of a fight.

While victory in the ODI series is important, Kohli acknowledged the fact that experimenting with the lineup and seeing how the players stand up to the various tests put forward will be of primary importance.

"The whole idea of this series is to try different people at different positions and see how they react to those situations," said Kohli. "It's not like neglecting the fact that we have to win the games.

"It's obviously keeping in mind that those guys are good enough to play in those positions and able to win those games for us. It's all about infusing that confidence into people and they will end up giving you the result.

"So, this is just a phase leading up to the World Cup. As I said before the first match, we need to figure out the best combination for us and the guys responded beautifully in the first game and hopefully any little bit of changes that we make or different combinations that we try will give us the same results.

"We can be more confident and have more options going closer to the World Cup."

Sri Lanka came into the ODI series grumbling about the fact that they had not been prepared for such a contest, and that their focus was elsewhere. Well, in the first ODI they certainly played like a team that did not really want to be there, and it will be up to the captain Angelo Mathews and the other experienced campaigners in the team to force that focus back into the side.

"I think we have in the past not done well at the start but have bounced back in the series," said one of those experienced men Tillakaratne Dilshan. "We have to forget what happened in the last match and play our brand of cricket.

"That's the main target for the team. And as a team we are just focusing on that."

In India, an ODI series is invariably a run-fest, and one thing that was shown to be certain in the first one-day international is that runs will be the order of the day. And Dilshan knows it will be up to himself and the likes of Kumar Sangakkara, Jayawardene and Mathews to ensure they also do their bit with the bat.

"I think you have expect the teams to score 290-300 with the new rules in place," added the opener. "With just four fielders outside the circle after the first 10 overs it is not easy to contain the batsmen especially in India.

"The wickets are flat and the Indian batting line-up is good. As a batting unit we have to go and get those runs. And we are batting first, we have to set up 300-plus target. That's become the norm now."

Where to Watch Live

Get the 2nd ODI Report/Score HERE

The 2nd ODI match is scheduled for a 1.30 pm IST (8 am GMT, 4 am ET) start with live coverage in India on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3 [Hindi commentary] and Star Sports HD1. The second one-day international between India and Sri Lanka can also be watched via free live streaming online by viewers in India on Starsports.com.

Viewers in the UK can catch all the action on Sky Sports 2 or by choosing a live stream online on Sky Go or Watch Sky Sports Online. US viewers can catch the game on Willow TV or Willow TV Online, while Middle East and North Africa viewers can watch the match on OSN or OSN Play.

Team news: India: Varun Aaron is out of the series after picking up an injury in the second innings of the 1st ODI, with Stuart Binny brought in as his replacement. Dhawal Kulkarni, though, will hope to take Aaron's place in the playing XI, while Ravindra Jadeja will also want to come in after being rested in the 1st one-dayer, even if Akshar Patel did reasonably well in his stead.

Sri Lanka: While the overall performance was disappointing, there were a few encouraging run-outs as well, especially with the ball up front for Sri Lanka, and Mathews and the management will probably go with the same XI for the second one-day international as well.

Upul Tharanga will want to bat a lot better than he did in the previous match, especially with Kusal Perera waiting in the wings.

Expected lineups: India: Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Wriddhiman Saha, Akshar Patel, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni.

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Angelo Mathews (capt), Ashan Priyanjan, Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Dhammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv, Lahiru Gamage.

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