India is back to cricket after a gap of 1 month while Sri Lanka have been playing some cricket recently. Sri Lanka started this year with a test series against Bangladesh. And then they took part in a tri-series with Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka toured Pakistan for 3 ODIs. SL won all of the 3 series.
India will want to maintain their dominance while the Sri Lankans will certainly be making every effort to take revenge for their 3-2 loss in the ODI series at home against India in Sep'08.
If either team wants to win, the following players are going to hold a lot of the responsibility...
Virender Sehwag - Gautam Gambhir:
This opening duo has been in sparkling form and have given excellent starts most of the times. The opening stands by this pair are important for the series result to go India's way. Sachin may open the innings with Sehwag while Gambhir comes at No.3 . In any case the performance by both of these players will be important for the team.
Both these bowlers are on roll. They have made invaluable contributions in India's wins recently. They are capable of performing in any conditions and early breakthroughs by these bowlers will be important for India to win.
The middle order is strong with Dhoni, Yuvraj, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina. India are without Harbhajan which may give some advantage to Sri Lanka. It is now a good chance for Ravindra Jadeja and Ojha to prove themselves.
Dilshan : Dilshan has been in good form in recent times and his promotion to opening slot against Pakistan worked wonders for Sri Lanka. Dilshan has been a crucial part in Sri Lanka's wins in the recent times. His innings will be an important one for Sri Lanka.
Mendis-Muralitharan : The spin duo has to strike to turn the series in Sri Lanka's favour. Most of the Indian batsmen struggled to face Mendis in India's tour to Sri Lanka last year and in Asia cup. Their attack from both the ends can worry Indian batsmen and help Sri Lanka gain some advantage. Sri Lanka is strong in spin department as India is without their main spinner Harbhajan.
The main worry for Sri Lanka is the form of their captain, Mahela Jayawardena. He did not have a great tour against Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Coming to the pace bowling..Nuwan Kulasekara has been in good form..He is the No.2 bowler in ICC ODI Rankings..
I am eagerly waiting for Mendis vs Sehwag..it will be a cracker of contest....
My playing XI(India): Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Ojha, Munaf Patel.