Sri Lanka two wins away from a 2019 World Cup berth

South Africa's challenge surprisingly faded in their 3-1 loss to England while West Indies' woes were perhaps aptly summed up by legendary fast bowler Curtly Ambrose, who said his national side would have to play out of their skin to even compete against England in their ongoing series.

He was then forced to miss the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the subsequent Champions Trophy held in England.

Thakur was in scintillating form during the South Africa A Tri-Series where he took nine wickets at an economy rate of 4.34. But, nevertheless, I was preparing myself. "That is part of the game, but I have played the waiting game really well", Pandey said in a media chat on Friday.

Hence, scores of 4*, 17, 19, 28*, 12 and 0 in the six innings after the SCG carnage forced the team management to exclude him from the Indian side. The experiment did not turn out well and he lost his place.

"That's where I bat in the middle-order", Pandey reiterated when asked how he looked at his middle-order chances with chief selector MSK Prasad categorically saying that Rahul would bat at No 4. "Batting at No 6 or No 5 was a bit new for me during the New Zealand series, and I think it took me some time to get used to that situation with only 15-odd overs left in the game. But I have adapted to the situation again and let's see how it goes this time", he added.

Pandey is part of India's 15-man squad for the five-match One-day worldwide series against Sri Lanka starting on Sunday, but is unlikely that he will get a chance.

"What advantage we have is that we have white-washed them in the Test series. When the players heard this rumour, they even called me and told me not to worry and they all know that the news was not true and that they are all behind me", Gurusinha claimed. But, I think this is where we have to focus on.

Shikhar Dhawan raised a hundred in that match, Rohit Sharma fell short of one and M.S. Dhoni blasted a quickfire 63 off 52 balls.

One hopes that Sri Lanka can come up with good cricket and make something out of this ODI series, and send a strong answer to their critics.

India barely broke a sweat against the hosts in the 3-match Test series as they continued their dominance in the longest format of the game cementing their status at the top of the table in the ICC rankings.

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