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Dhoni set to enter Club 300

MS Dhoni will be the cynosure of all eyes when he takes the field in the fourth ODI against Sri Lanka here tomorrow. It will be his 300th ODI, and he will join the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (463 ODIs), Rahul Dravid (344), Mohammad Azharuddin (334), Sourav Ganguly (311) and Yuvraj Singh (304) in the elite club, and given his form in the series and Sri Lanka’s troubles, there’s every chance that he may come up with a special knock to celebrate the personal feat. Having come into the series with a question mark over his future, Dhoni has proved his usefulness by anchoring two back-to-back tricky chases. The unbeaten knocks of 45 and 67 in the last two games have shown that he could still finish the games for the team, and has his eyes firmly set on the 2019 World Cup. His method, though, has changed — he now seems more content playing the second fiddle rather than leading the charge. With India already 3-0 ahead in the five-match series, skipper Virat Kohli might give a chance to players like Kuldeep Yadav, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane and Shardul Thakur. Kedar Jadhav, in particular, is likely to make way for those warming the bench after successive ducks.  Pacer Thakur has also looked sharp in the nets but Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah are in the middle of a good run and hence wouldn’t like to rest.

Malinga to lead

While India have some pleasant problems to deal with, Sri Lanka are in deep trouble. Dinesh Chandimal has already been ruled out of the remainder of the series with a hairline fracture on his right thumb. To add to their woes, stand-in skipper Chamara Kapugedara is also out of the series following a back injury. Lasith Malinga will lead the side in the fourth ODI, with suspended captain Upul Tharanga expected to be back at the helm of affairs for the final ODI on September 3 and the solitary T20I on September 6.Apart from the on-field woes, Sri Lanka are struggling off the field as well. Sri Lanka’s selection committee, headed by Sanath Jayasuriya has resigned, and the Lankan board has accepted its resignation.


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Senior editor with Himsamachar

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