Skipper Shikhar Dhawan led by example while Ishan Kishan impressed on debut as India cruised to a seven wicket win in their opening one-day international against Sri Lanka in Colombo.
Kishan celebrated his 23rd birthday with a breezy 59, while Dhawan remained not out on 86 as India chased down the 263-run victory target with 13.2 overs to spare. After electing to bat, Sri Lanka struggled for momentum but still managed 262-9 thanks to No.8 Chamika Karunaratne’s unbeaten 43.
The hosts got off to a steady start before Yuzvendra Chahal dismissed Avishka Fernando (33) with his first delivery. Charith Asalanka (38) and captain Dasun Sanaka (39) were the other Sri Lanka batsmen to get decent starts.
Chahal (2-52) and fellow spinner Kuldeep Yadav (2-48) applied the brakes before Karunaratne’s late counter-attack.
In contrast, India got their run chase off to a blistering start. Prithvi Shaw led India’s robust reply with 43 off 24 balls as India reached the 50-mark in the fifth over. After Shaw’s exit, Kishan continued the assault bringing up his 50 in 33 balls.
He smashed two sixes and eight boundaries before falling to spinner Lakshan Sandakan (1-53). With regular captain Virat Kohli and several frontline players in England for a five-Test series against Joe Root’s men, Dhawan is leading a second-string India squad in Sri Lanka.
His counterpart Sanaka will be hoping to bounce back in the second ODI on Tuesday.