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Thursday, 11 July 2013

Preview: India vs Sri Lanka - Final - Tri-Series 2013

Preview: India vs Sri Lanka - Final - Tri-Series 2013


Final of the Celkon Mobile Cup, between India and Sri Lanka


The Queen’s Park, Port of Spain, Trinidad


Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Teams


They suffered defeats in their first two matches, lost their captain MS Dhoni due to injury for the rest of the series and then faced a must-win situation to make the final. Since then, Virat Kohli and his young turks have shown tremendous character and skill to overcome all odds and book a place in the final of the tri-nation series. (Also Read: MS Dhoni may be back for final against Sri Lanka: Tri-Series 2013)

The final will mark the 49th India-Sri Lanka cricketing contest since 2009. A superior ODI record against their familiar foes will augment India’s confidence. They might also receive another massive boost if, as hinted by Virat, MS Dhoni takes field. The Indian captain was earlier ruled out of the series with a hamstring injury.

Sri Lanka

The team from the Emerald Iles has blown hot and cold in the series with extreme performances. Against India, they lost the last league game by 81 runs, after winning the first contest between these two sides convincingly.

Sri Lanka will do well to keep in mind their recent unimpressive track record against India in big games and ensure they don’t make similar mistakes again. On a sluggish and damp Trinidad wicket, the senior batsmen will have to put their hands up if their side is to come out on top.

Key Players


Bhuvneshwar Kumar proved to be the difference between the two sides in the previous match and he will once again play a crucial role, given his style of bowling. Not express, but accurate and street smart, Bhuvneshwar will be the key for India on a slow track and under an overcast sky. Sri Lanka’s top-order batsmen will be wary of the young Indian medium pacer.

Sri Lanka

The onus to score runs in difficult conditions will have to be taken up by the experienced heads in the batting line-up. The top three Lankan batsmen – Upul Tharanga, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara – will do well to see off the tough first few overs and deny India’s new-ball bowlers a breakthrough. With rain in the air, the value of a strong foundation and wickets in hand cannot be underestimated.

Form guide
(most recent first, last five completed matches)
Sri Lanka LWWLL

Stats and trivia

  • India and Sri Lanka have won 10 finals each at neutral venues, joint second highest after Pakistan's 20 wins. India's win-loss record at neutral venues in finals: 10-16, Sri Lanka's is: 10-10
  • Kohli, who otherwise averages 54.70 against Sri Lanka in ODIs (five 100s, eight 50s), averages only 26 in tournament finals against them, with no fifty-plus scores
  • It's been 13 ODIs, stretching back to last November, since Jeevan Mendis either scored 30 runs or took more than one wicket
  • In the first ten overs of ODIs this year, no one has more wickets than Bhuvneshwar, who has 13


India: Virat Kohli (capt), R Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ambati Rayudu, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Suresh Raina, Mohammad Shami, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, MS Dhoni

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (capt), Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dilhara Lokuhettige, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Ajantha Mendis, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne


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