It will be a tough contest say captains
The Asian heavyweights Sri Lanka and India will revive their rivalry
with a gruelling five match one day international series which begins on
Wednesday at the historic Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium.
The two teams of course met in a similar series in August last year
where India clinched the rubber 3-2 after a hard fought battle. However
the two captains Mahela Jayawardena and Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes
that playing each other quite often will not make any difference as
every international match and series is very important.
The Indian captain felt that knowing each individual of the
opposition is always a tough task and the contest starts from the
beginning. Skipper Jayawardena also emphasised on the importance of this
series where his team will have the opportunity to avenge their previous
The other major factor is that both teams will take the field
brimming with a great amount of confidence. In fact the Lankans are on a
roll having won the series in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Pakistan
India are also having a great season having brought down the World
champions Australia and England both at home. Skipper Jayawardena said
that now it is time for them to prove their capabilities on home soil
having had a great amount of success overseas.
He also said that the team is now progressing quite smoothly and will
like to maintain the same form in the up coming series. Jayawardena
noted that the selectors decided to name a fifteen member squad for the
opening three one day matches because they may have an idea of resting
some of the key players with the tour of Pakistan coming up in mid
Even then the Sri Lankan captain said that they would have a lot of
faith on the line up that performed duties in Pakistan which means that
Tillekeratne Dilshan will open the batting again with Thilina Kandamby
forming the middle order.
Jayawardena said that his teams toughest task in this series will be
to contain the powerful Indian batting line up. He said that the pace
combination of Nuwan Kulasekera and Thilina Thushara have improved
tremendously and hope that they would be consistent with their
performances at home.
In contrast India will miss the services of their star spinner
Harbhajan Singh who is still recovering from an injury. Skipper Dhoni
felt that Harbhajan’s absence from the team is a major blow but this
will also give the opportunity for the other players to make an impact.
Dhoni said that new players like Pragyan Ohja and Ravindra Jadeja are
expected to play a major role in this series with the conditions too
favouring the slow bowlers.
The Indian captain also stated that the conditions and the behaviour
at Dambulla and at R. Premadasa Stadium is quite tough and the toss is
expected to play a vital role.
The two teams will then return back to Colombo for the remaining four
one day internationals before completing the series with a Twenty20
The Sri Lanka team for the first three one day matches:
Mahela Jayawardena (captain), Kumar Sangakkara (vice captain), Sanath
Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak,
Tillekeratne Dilshan, Thilina Kandamby, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha
Mendis, Farveez Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekera, Thilina
Thushara and Angelo Mathews.
Stand byes: Malinga Bandara, Chamara Silva, Mahela Udawatte and
The Indian squad:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar,
Gautam Ghambir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma,
Pragyan Ohja, Zaheer Khan, Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan,
Ravindra Jadeja and Munaf Patel.