India to begin their One-day campaign against Sri Lanka

January 27th, 2009 - 11:48 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan SinghDambulla, Jan 27 (IANS) Indians will look to negate the spin threat from the formidable Sri Lankan duo of Muttiah Muralithran and Ajantha Mendis as the One-day International cricket series begins here Wednesday.Muralitharan will be eyeing the personal milestone of becoming the leading wicket-taker in one-day cricket during the five-match limited-overs series.

The 37-year-old veteran off-spinner and Mendis had wrecked the Indian batting during the Test series in the last tour, though India fought back to win the One-day series.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni led India to a 3-2 win last August to become the first Indian side to win an ODI series in Sri Lanka.

Dhoni, however, said they will have to make a fresh beginning.

“It’s true that we won the last series in Dambulla, but I guess they must have seen what went wrong for them. One of the things that went wrong for them was the toss, and the toss can be crucial when you are playing in these conditions,” Dhoni said.

While Sri Lanka will have two class spinners operating in favourable conditions, Indian spin department is devoid of experience as off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is missing the tour due to a hamstring injury.

India will have to do with Pragyan Ojha or the uncapped Ravindra Jadeja as mainline spinners.

Sri Lanka are coming back with a 2-1 series win against Pakistan.

Muralitharan became only the second bowler to take 500 one-day wickets in Pakistan and has now left-arm quick Wasim Akram to get past.

“Everyone knows the amount of hard work the guy has put in over the last 16 years. He has gone through a lot of hardships,” Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said about Murali.

Mendis, who become the bowler to quickest claim 50 ODI wickets after taking a match-winning 6-13 to rout India in the Asia Cup final last year, will be another test for the Indian batsmen.

Dhoni, however, said they are prepared to face him.

“In the last ODI series, we did well against him. So to be honest, there’s no need for us to worry about him or any other individual. The team is ready to face the challenges.”

The teams:
Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Jehan Mubarak, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Thilina Kandamby, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Farveez Maharoof, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekera, Thilan Thushara, Angelo Mathews.

India (from): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar.

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