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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

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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 Sachin Tendulkar.

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 their stardom.

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.

 

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