India look to batsmen to deliver against Sri Lanka

February 18th, 2008 - 4:11 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Adelaide, Feb 18 (IANS) While it might be a bit too early to say India are out of the finals of the Commonwealth Bank Triangular One-day Series, two successive defeats have surely caused concern in the team ranks. Though the top spot in the points tally seems to have slipped away from India’s grasp, they will nevertheless be hoping to register their second win in the series Tuesday when they clash with Sri Lanka here.

India have lost two of their five matches so far and won just one. Their two other rain-affected abandoned matches, from which they shared points with Australia and Sri Lanka, could ultimately prove too costly when the two finalists are picked on the basis of points.

Indian batting once again was a let down as they lost to Australia on Sunday. They failed to get any points from the day-night encounter. The bowlers, on the other hand, performed admirably once again to restrict Australia to 203. But the batsmen failed to and that left India 50 runs short of the target.

India, a bit surprisingly, went into the match with five bowlers showing skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s aggressive intention. But the batsmen failed to live up to the expectations as quite often in recent times, especially in this triangular.

Dhoni’s decision to drop Virender Sehwag to accommodate a fifth bowler and the move to play with one batsman less backfired at the Adelaide Oval Sunday.

The only consolation was that Dhoni again scored useful runs while opener Gautam Gambhir’s fine form continues.

Yuvraj Singh, who has been struggling for runs since coming to Australia, again failed to a make big score and, therefore, the worries for him and Dhoni persist. The hard-hitting left-handed batsman has also been plagued by injuries, which could also be impacting his performance with the bat.

The Punjab batsman was, however, involved in the highest partnership Sunday, raising 56 in almost 13 overs with Dhoni for the fifth wicket.

The most disappointing aspect was that only five batsmen made double-digit scores in Sunday’s defeat. Irfan Pathan was one of the batsmen who made double figures was once again sent in at No. 3 but he failed to stay there long enough.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, are lying at the bottom of the heap with six points. But then Mahela Jayawardene’s side has played just four matches, one less than India and Australia.

Sri Lanka, who too seem to be presently affected by their abandoned match against India, would like to repeat their Feb 12 performance against Dhoni’s team when they won in Canberra.

Sri Lanka’s fielding has been the outstanding feature of their game and it is again living up to the expectations.

In batting, wicket-keeper Kumar Sangakkara and Tillakaratne Dilshan has been in fine form and the Indian bowlers would look to keep them in check, along with the danger man Sanath Jayasuriya and Jayawardene. These seasoned campaigners form the backbone of Sri Lanka’s batting and they would be looking to get going at the Adelaide Oval.


India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicket-keeper), Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla, Ishant Sharma and Sreesanth

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Kumar Sangakkara (wicket-keeper), Ishara Amerasinghe, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Sanath Jayasuriya, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Muttiah Muralitharan, Dilruwan Perera, Chamara Silva, Upul Tharanga, Chaminda Vaas and Chanaka Welegedara

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