Focus on Murali
Needs two more wickets to hug World record:
Sri Lanka will be up against a rejuvenated Indian batting line as
well as the unpredictable weather as they hope to bounce back when the
second one day international starts at the R. Premadasa Stadium under
The Lankans found the Indian batting too hot to handle as their total
of 246 runs was easily overtaken in the opening game of the five match
series worked off at the Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium on
With the weather pattern in Colombo taking a dramatic change during
the last couple of days Sri Lanka will need to really be at their best
performance to level the series.
There is of course a reserve day in case a minimum of 25 overs per
side cannot be completed which will make things even more tough for the
Sri Lanka’s main concern will be their bowling attack which was made
to look pretty ordinary by the Indian batsmen despite the absence of
dashing opener Virender Sehwag.
Even then spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan is at the threshold of
another World record and requires just two more scalps to overhaul
former Pakistan seamer Wasim Akram’s tally of 502 wickets in one day
In addition the champion off spinner needs just another solitary
wicket to become the country’s highest wicket taker against India.
Muralitharan has now captured 70 wickets against India from 58 one
day internationals and is well set to beat the record held by Chaminda
However the rest of the Sri Lankan bowlers will need to come out with
an improved performance as the Indian batsmen have now mastered the art
of playing pace and spin with equal brilliance. This was quite evident
in the first one dayer where mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis went through
wicketless for the first time against India.
This was a major setback considering the fact that not long ago
Mendis was able to mesmerise the Indians with career best figures during
the last Asia Cup final in Karachi.
In the batting department Sanath Jayasuriya will be hoping to
continue his excellent form with another major contribution.
His century in the first one dayer was in vain as the middle order
failed to capitalise from the solid start.
Jayasuriya is now set to create another piece of history having
extended his record for most centuries against India in one day
internationals to seven while equalling Sachin Tendulkar’s tally.