The road ahead for India in the three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka does not look too good if their batsmen fail to apply themselves during the second match at PCA Stadium in Mohali on Wednesday.
The pitch in Mohali is expected to bear some grass, which could prove to be another stern test for the India batsmen, who have struggled when the pitch has something for the bowlers.
India currently trail 1-0 after their batsmen put up a dismal show in Dharamsala, leading to a loss against Sri Lanka, who beat the Men in Blue only for the second time in 12 matches.
India will be desperate to get back to their winning ways. The batsmen have some scores to settle in Mohali after they lost their first five wickets for 16 runs. India, without Virat Kohli, struggled as only MS Dhoni stood up to be counted.
The new ball is definitely going to talk, and with Suranga Lakmal a wonderful exponent of the leather ball, openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have to deal well with the swing and movement.
Seeing off the new ball is almost half the job done as India possess quality finishers in the form of Dhoni and Hardik Pandya.
The Lankans, on the other hand, will be eager to get an early breakthrough and have another chance to have a go at the weak middle order. India have quality bowlers in the form of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who can defend decent scores for India with their prolific bowling.
However, Sri Lanka batsmen cannot be taken for granted. Though they had a paltry score to chase in the first ODI, they looked decent with Upul Tharanga and Angelo Mathews brining their experience into play. The duo will once again hold the key for Sri Lanka in their batting line-up.
In-form Tharanga can take the game away from India with his attacking mindset in Mohali. The left-hander will be the prized wicket. This Sri Lanka squad has plenty of attacking players like Niroshan Dickwella and Thisara Perera, who can do some serious damage if the top order does not lose much wicket to the new ball.
With the pitch in Mohali also expected to assist seamers, the first 10 overs in both the innings could play an important role in determining the match result.
When does the match start and how to watch it live
The second ODI in Mohali will start at 11:30 am IST, 6 am GMT.
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: Star Sports 1 and 3, DD Sports; Live streaming: Hotstar
Sri Lanka: Star Sports
UK: Sky Sports Cricket, Main Event; Live streaming: Sky Go
US: Willow TV