After two resounding victories, India will be looking to seal the series in a “ruthless” fashion when they take on Sri Lanka in the third One-Day International (ODI) of the five-match cricket series here Sunday.
An aggressive India skipper Virat Kohli declared that they will be ruthless, adding that the team is treating every match like a knock-out and looking to win every one of them.
“What we are trying to achieve is to be ruthless rather than letting the situations be. In the past it happened a lot when we had eight wickets then let the last two players get away with it. If you want to be ruthless, want to have big and convincing wins, it is important to address the issues that happen in resounding win as well,” he said at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium.
“That’s the kind of hunger and vision we are trying to instil in this team going into the World Cup so that every game we play we want to be ruthless, we want to win by big margin.”
Kohli is not just thinking about the series win.
“Not really thinking about being 2-0 up. This is about one game at a time. Looking to execute the plan we make before every game. That’s the kind of mindset we want to build before going to the World Cup. It doesn’t really matter what the other team is feeling like and what their strengths and weaknesses are,” Kohli said when asked about the statements made by some Sri Lankan players that they were not prepared for the scratch series.
“We want to be more focussed on what we want to do rather than who we are playing against. We are taking this series and the tri-series (involving Australia and England) to test ourselves and create targets for ourselves rather than worrying about the opposition.”
The top-order batsman is not in favour of doing experiments like trying youngsters in the run-up to the World Cup and instead wants to focus on the combination which will defend the title.
“We have to keep in mind to keep team closest to the combination we want to take to the World Cup. Let those guys play their role better rather than experimenting too much at this point,” he said.
On Ambati Rayudu, who hit an unbeaten ton in the second ODI, Kohli said he was quite brilliant at the No.3 spot.
“Rayudu is one of those players who has different set of skills to actually bat for full 50 overs and take the team through. It was a great show of temperament and character and the class he possesses. This is something probably he should have done 10-11 years back. He is very hungry to prove himself. We wanted to give enough time,” added Kohli.
“You will see tomorrow when the wickets fall,” he quipped when asked if Rayudu will bat at the same position.
Sri Lanka’s spin bowling coach Roger Wijesuriya admitted that it is a tough tour for the island nation. He believes that it is a challenge for the team but it is also an opportunity for players especially youngsters to show what they can do and believe in themselves.
He disagreed that the fighting spirit is lacking in the present team.
“Before this tour, we had time for the England tour and the boys got on with the physical side more. They wanted to concentrate on that. At the last moment, when West Indies pulled out, there was limited time when we had to get on with practice. But at the same time, it is not an excuse we are going to put because at this level, you have to raise your game and deliver the goods,” he said.