Indians led by Dhoni, sans Tendulkar arrive today
The Sri Lankan cricketers who ended their series against Pakistan on
a happy note winning the One-day and Test series will now pad up to meet
India in Five one-day matches and a Twenty20 game.
The Indians, World Champions in this format will arrive today led by
the dashing Mahendra Singh Dhoni, sans the demi god of Indian cricket
Under new skipper Mahela Jayawardene the cricketers are on a roll and
the Lankans will be out for sweet revenge and prove that the loss to
India in the final should not have been.
On the other hand the Indians will want to prove that their Cup final
victory was not a flash in the pan. Fast bowler Vinay Kumar who was
named in the original tour squad had to pull out due to injury and all
rounder Irfan Pathan will take Kumarís slot.
The Lankans in dumping the strong Pakistanis 3-1 in the recent
one-day series have shown that they are now well equipped in this format
of the game and have it in them to face up to any opposition.
The Lankans will welcome back opening batsman Upul Tharanga and the
slinging sensation Lasith Malinga. Both are expected to play major roles
against the Indians.
The Indians are bringing with them their Bollywood cricketing stars
in Captain Mahndra Singh Dhoni, Vice captain Virat Kohli, Gautam
Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina. They have all proved
themselves on the cricketing stage and will be determined to add to
Another batsman in the India strike force who will need watching will
be the stylish and hard hitting batsman Ajinkya Rahane who lit up the
Indian Premier League with his beefy hitting.
The Indian bowling does not look threatening. Other than for the
experienced left armer Zaheer Khan who has lost some of his old
sharpness, the other bowlers are Umesh Yadav, Irfan Pathan, Pragyam Ojha
and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Whether this limited attack can contain the run hungry Sri Lanka
batsmen in Tillekeratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga if he opens, Mahela
Jayawrdene, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal and Angelo Matthews will
be interesting to watch. The Lankan bowlers Lasith Malinga, Nuwan
Kulasekera and Angelo Mathews are more penetrative and it will be
interesting to watch who the spinners will be. Will it be Rangana
Herath, Sachitra Senanayake or Jeevan Mendis?
But the most important aspect in this style of game is the fielding.
The side performing this aspect to perfection should have the edge.
The first two games will be played at the Sooriyawewa Mahinda Rajapaksa
International Stadium on July 21 and 24, R.Premadasa Stadium on 28 and
31 and Palekelle stadium on August 4 and the Twenty20 also at Palekelle
on August 7.