x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Choice between Rohit or Tiwary for third ODI

MS Dhoni has to decide between the struggling Rohit Sharma and the waiting-in-the-wings Monaj Tiwary when India face Sri Lanka.

Rohit Sharma has been better than anyone in the nets, says his teammate Gautam Gambhir.
Rohit Sharma has been better than anyone in the nets, says his teammate Gautam Gambhir.

MS Dhoni, the India captain, faces a selection dilemma ahead of the third one-day international against Sri Lanka at the Premadasa ground in Colombo today.

With scores of one and 0 in the first two games of the five-match series, Rohit Sharma may make way for Manoj Tiwary in the middle order.

India won the first match convincingly with more than 300 runs on the board but collapsed in a nine-wicket loss in contrasting style in the second on Tuesday.

The misfiring Rohit has been struggling for form and was out in both games trying to play away from the bat. Tiwary, on the other hand, has been waiting in the wings for 14 matches after scoring his maiden ODI century.

Opening batsman Gautam Gambhir backed Rohit to rediscover his form at a news conference yesterday, and urged the selectors to stick with the 25 year old.

"He's done pretty well. Not on this tour, not in Australia, but he's got two man-of-the-series awards, in West Indies and in India," said Gambhir, who was the only India batsman to put up any serious resistance with a fighting 65 in the defeat in Hambantota. "If you keep chopping and changing players like him who are so talented, you are only going to play with his confidence.

"If he is in your scheme of things for the next World Cup, obviously you have to go with him and try to give him as much confidence as possible."

"Whether a person is in form or out of it, the important thing is how he is feeling about his batting. You cannot be batting well, but you can still be getting runs. We still need to show some faith in him because he is a quality player."

The other problem for India is the spinners' role on Premadasa's slow wicket after Pragyan Ojha sustained a neck injury in training on Thursday.

Rahul Sharma is out after the Indian cricket board made him unavailable for selection pending an investigation after the leg-spinner tested positive for recreational drugs during the Indian Premier League in May, leaving R Ashwin as the side's only specialist spin bowler.

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