The Indian team would look for a winning start to the new season but the task won’t be easy against Sri Lankan outfit as the two sides clash in a 5- ODI series starting on Saturday at Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium.
MS Dhoni: “We are no strangers to Sri Lankan conditions. So acclimatisation would not be an issue”.
Dhoni made no secret of India`s ambitions in the next tour to the emerald isle, the world Twenty20. Dhoni was happy that most of the players in the touring team would form the nucleus of the side for the world T20.
Mahela Jayawardene: ”We have just finished a good series against Pakistan. It is now for us to build on the good work”.
The Sri Lanka captain thought the series should provide a good basis to launch the world T20 campaign.
“We have got a few new players in the squad, this series would be a good opportunity for them”.
In the Indian squad their new vice captain Virat Kohli and a solid Rohit Sharma would be the players to watch out for apart from a couple of comeback men — opener Virender Sehwag and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan.
Vinay Kumar`s injury, which put Irfan Pathan back in the squad, seemed to have silenced the argument that the Indians were lacking a genuine all-rounder in the squad. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin would also look to make an impression on the spin-friendly tracks here.
The Indians will be top heavy with Sehwag and Ajinkya Rahane firing should the 24-year-old batsman be able to extend his IPL form in to series.
Sri Lanka Advantage:
Sri Lankan fans, who would be hard done by the absence of Sachin Tendulkar, should not be short of the entertainment coming from the rest of Indian line-up which boasts of Gautam Gambhir, Dhoni and Suresh Raina.
Among Jayawardene`s new guns are left arm pacer Isuru Udana. The youngster has only appeared in six T20 internationals albeit three years apart after making his debut in 2009. He was recalled to play the last month`s T20 against the Pakistanis.
Chamara Kapugedera and Rangana Herath are the other `comeback boys` in the one day squad. Kapugedera has had a wretched run in the `A` team tour of Zimbabwe. The selectors have come under flak for picking him as he had scored only 37 runs with two ducks in the four matches in Zimbabwe.
Herath, now Sri Lanka`s main spin weapon in Tests, returns to the side having been rested for the final ODI against Pakistan.
Thisara Perera too has come of age as the leading all rounder. His performance against Pakistan prompted head coach Graham Ford to compare him with with South African great Lance Klusener.
He will be raring to go against the Indians and the tourists will remember him for his last over assault against Zaheer Khan in the world cup final of 2011.
The show piece Mahinda Rajapaksa stadium`s location, Suriyawewa in the deep southern district of Hambantota, is among the lowest of rainfall areas.
This would mean that weather gods would not have any say, a welcome change from the rain plagued series against Pakistan.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virat Kohli (vice-capt), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Irfan Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma.
Sri Lanka Squad:
Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedara, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana.
Here you can watch the Live & Highlights of India vs Srilanka 2012,India vs Srilanka First Oneday Match Highlights,India vs Srilanka 1st ODI Video Score Live Match Played 21st July 2012…