After gaining an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, India will try to complete another sweep of Sri Lanka with a win in the final ODI on Friday, July 23 at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
In the first ODI, Prithvi Shaw was named Man of the Match for his attacking 43, which set the tone for a successful Indian run-chase. Deepak Chahar was awarded the honor in the second ODI for his two-wicket haul in the first innings and his match-winning unbeaten 69 in a run-chase that was everything but easy.
Who will step up in the third ODI as India tries to rest and rotate ahead of the T20I series, while Sri Lanka tries to recover some pride? In this article, we predict three players that could be named Man of the Match in the series’ final 50-over match.
#3 Hardik Pandya (India)
Hardik Pandya is one of the few Indian players who is yet to make an impression in this series. His bowling has been substandard as he works his way back into international all-round action, and his solitary innings has been a three-ball duck.
Could Hardik Pandya put on a great batting performance in the third ODI? He was outstanding in the last series against Australia and England, scoring 90, 28, 92*, 1, 35, and 64 points in six games. And if either Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Deepak Chahar is rested for the last ODI, the all-rounder will be able to play with the ball for the first time.
#2 Dhananjaya de Silva (Sri Lanka)
If India wants Hardik Pandya to perform well, Sri Lanka needs Dhananjaya de Silva to do well in the third ODI. The hosts’ vice-captain has given up his start in both games so far, with only two wickets to show for it.
While others such as Avishka Fernando, Charith Asalanka, and Wanindu Hasaranga have shone, Sri Lanka’s senior players, including De Silva, have been noticeably below par. With nothing to lose and a much to gain, the 29-year-old could be the man to watch in Colombo.
#1 Shikhar Dhawan (India)
Shikhar Dhawan, India’s captain, has scored the most runs in the series thus far and has been in good form. Many fans and experts thought he should have earned the Man of the Match award in the series opener, in which he scored an unbroken 86 and took two magnificent catches, but the committee decided to honor his opening partner instead.
Given how brilliantly he has defended the Sri Lankan new-ball bowlers and spinners, Dhawan seemed destined to win the award in at least one game this series. Matches against Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga will be key for the left-hander. In the third and final ODI, we could watch him walk away with a well-deserved Man of the Match award.