Cricket world stunned by 'awful' scenes in Sri Lanka-India clash

Sri Lanka are keeping their fingers crossed that Jeffrey Vandersay and Ashen Bandara can recover from a brutal collision against India.

Sri Lanka's Jeffrey Vandersay and Ashen Bandara are pictured colliding on the left, and being taken away on a stretcher on the right.
Sri Lanka's Jeffrey Vandersay and Ashen Bandara were stretchered from the field after an awful collision in the outfield during the ODI against India on Sunday. Pictures: AAP

Cricket fans across the world collectively held their breath after a horror outfield collision between Sri Lanka's Ashen Bandara and Jeffrey Vandersay in Sunday's ODI against India. In an awful scene reminiscent of Steve Waugh and Jason Gillespie's brutal impact in 1999, both players had to be stretchered from the field.

Both Sri Lankan fielders had been chasing a shot to deep square leg from India's Virat Kohli. With both Bandara and Vandersay focused on preventing a boundary, disaster ensued.

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Both players attempted a slide to intercept the ball before the boundary, only to smash into each other and a high rate of speed. The heavy impact appeared to inflict whiplash onto both, with Vandersay seemingly copping the worst of it.

There was a delay of several minutes while medical staff worked with the pair, before they were eventually each taken from the field on a stretcher. Both players were fortunate to largely emerge from the incident unscathed - in stark contrast to the broken leg and broken nose suffered by Gillespie and Waugh respectively in 1999.

"There's two fielders on the ground, that's never ever a good sign," commentator Harsha Bhogle said. " There are many happy sights on a cricket ground, but one sight you never want to see is a stretcher."

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The scary moment took the shine off what was a record-breaking performance from India, who went on to record the biggest-ever ODI victory thanks to their 317-run demolition job. Kohli was the driving force, smashing an unbeaten 166, hitting 13 fours and eight sixes, in his 110-ball display.

It was the former captain's 46th ODI century and he is now only three short of Sachin Tendulkar's all-time record for most ODI hundreds. Opener Shubman Gill also made a telling contribution with his own century - 116 off 97 balls - as India ended their innings at a mammoth 5-390 after opting to bat first.

"Today I was happy to be batting out there and in that space I end up playing good cricket. I am in a nice space right now, just trying to be organic," said Kohli, who was named the man of the series, having also scored a century in the first match.

Seamer Siraj then picked up 4-32 and played a role in a run-out, while Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav bagged two wickets each as India skittled Sri Lanka for just 73 inside 22 overs.

"It's disappointing. Not a game we wanted. It happens," said Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka. "We need to learn how to manage the start. Bowlers should learn how to take wickets on these decks, and the batters should learn to score."

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Australia brace for India series after record-breaking ODI

Australia are set for a possible date with the white-ball sensation Suryakumar Yadav in the Test arena after he was selected in India's 17-man squad for the first two games of the eagerly awaited four-match series next month.

Another limited-overs gun Ishan Kishan has also been brought into the squad but there's no place for injured pace bowling ace Jasprit Bumrah, who may also not be fit to play in the final two matches of the series either.

The Border-Gavaskar series, which starts on February 9, will also see the return of India's valuable spinning allrounder Ravindra Jadeja, as long as he's passed fit again after his own injury woes.

Virat Kohli takes off his helmet to celebrate a century against Sri Lanka.
Virat Kohli dominated against Sri Lanka as India claimed a record-breaking ODI win. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Rohit Sharma will lead a powerful side, with Virat Kohli also a spearhead, though the Indian board has named the squad only for the first half of the series and selectors will doubtless re-evaluate after the opening two matches in Nagpur and Delhi.

The absence of Bumrah is a major blow for the hosts. He had hoped to be back in business after a back problem but has been advised to undergo another month's rehabilitation before any decision is made over whether to unleash him in the final two Tests in Dharamsala and Ahmedabad in March.

With AAP

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