Their pride dented by the embarrassing loss to Zimbabwe in the lung-opener, a jolted India will hope to revive their campaign against Sri Lanka in the second match of the cricket tri-series in Bulavayo on Sunday.
It was hardly the start Suresh Raina would have hoped for in his debut as captain as India lost by six wickets to the hosts on Friday with 10 balls to spare.
Missing their regular stars, India were given a rude shock by the Zimbabweans who chased down a rather stiff target of 285 with consummate ease. Indian bowlers let down the team but the batting too was not impressive either and had it not been for Rohit Sharma’s breezy 114 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 61 after a top-order collapse, getting to 285 would have been a difficult task.
“We need to work on our bowling and fielding department to come back against Sri Lanka,” Raina said after the match. Dinesh Karthik and Murali Vijay were always going to find it difficult to replicate the flying starts that India are so used to with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir at the top.
The middle order looks alright with Raina, Rohit and Jadeja in good nick. The bowling is, however, a worry as the team found out against Zimbabwe.
Umesh Yadav and Ashok Dinda failed to either take wickets or stem the run flow against lowly side while R Vinay Kumar proved expensive.
Raina minced no words in expressing his disappointment after the match.
Sri Lanka, meanwhile, also have fielded a young team and have rested key players, prominent among them are regular skipper Kumar Sangakkara and the in-form Mahela Jayawardene. Tillakaratne Dilshan is leading the side without having the services of senior players like Sanath Jayasuriya and Lasith Malinga. All-rounder Angelo Mathews is Dilshan’s deputy on his maiden assignment as captain for an ODI series.
It seems an evenly matched contest where two inexperienced sides face off but given the opening loss to Zimbabwe, India can hardly afford to relax.