Sanath an asset for the team - Sanga
India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand will be hoping to produce an
impressive performances and boost their confidence ahead of the
Champions Trophy when the Compaq Cup Tri-Series limited overs cricket
tournament gets underway at the R. Premadasa Stadium today.
Hosts Sri Lanka will take on New Zealand in the curtain raiser match
of the tournament with the Indian team scheduled to arrive in Colombo on
India will confront New Zealand and Sri Lanka on Friday and Saturday
respectively in back to back matches before the two top teams meet in
the final on Monday. All matches will be worked off under lights at the
R. Premadasa Stadium.
The Indian team of course will start as the favourites despite
missing the services of injured opener Virender Sehwag and paceman
Zaheer Khan. In addition they are confident of winning the title having
beaten both New Zealand and Sri Lanka in their own backyards in their
last one-day series. In fact India are hoping to complete a hattrick of
victories in Sri Lanka after having clinching a pair of bilateral
five-match series in August 2008 and in February this year.
New Zealand too have shown in the past few days how much more
dangerous they could be in the shorter version of the game while winning
both Twenty20 matches against Sri Lanka following their debacle in the
two Test series.
However Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara urged his top order
batsmen to show more consistency in their attempt to reverse their
fortunes and lift the trophy. Sangakkara believes that the batting unit
will need to fire consistently and they have been working hard during
the last couple of days. He said that today’s opening match against New
Zealand will be the ideal opportunity for his players to strike form and
hope they would keep the same momentum throughout the tournament.
Sri Lanka’s biggest concern has been the lack of runs from their
veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya. But Sangakkara believes the dashing
opening batsman who is also picked for the Champions Trophy in South
Africa, can still prove as an asset in building a team for the 2011
“It’s always a concern when a batsman is out of form, But we all know
what he can do and what he has done. We have to give him every
opportunity to get back in there and score runs”. Sangakkara said that
record-breaking spinner Muttiah Muralitharan is recovering well from his
groin injury and is determined to be a part of today’s line up.
Sri Lanka (from): Kumar Sangakkara (captain), Muttiah Muralitharan,
Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul
Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Kapugedera, Thilina Kandamby,
Angelo Mathews, Dhammika Prasad, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Thilan
Thushara, Nuwan Kulasekera, Malinga Bandara.
New Zealand (from): Daniel Vettori (captain), Brendon McCullum, Jesse
Ryder, Martin Guptil, Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram, Neil Broom, Grant
Elliott, Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan, Ian Butler, Shane Bond, Kyle
Mills, Jeetan Patel.