Indian team who is riding the success under the captaincy of M.S.Dhoni and Coach Gary Kirsten start their tour as the firm favorites in the first ODI against the home team at Dambulla. Recently Indian team who has beaten England by 5-0 and on their earlier tour of Sri Lanka they were able to win the five match series by 3-2 without Sachin and Sehwag. With the presence of these two masters at the top of the order Indian batting looks stronger than their earlier tour of Sri Lanka.
M.S.Dhoni and his men are looking quite confident of doing well against Sri Lankan’s. Last time Indian batsman able to handle the two spinners well and M.S.Dhoni is hoping for something similar from their batsman again.
On the other hand M.Jayawardne team looking very confident after beating Pakistan in their back yard. Especially in the manner in which Sri Lanka achieve their victory against Pakistan in last two ODI’s was quite outstanding. They able to beat Pakistan quite easily in last two ODI’s with their allround performance both with ball and bat.
Sri Lanka able to win six out of seven ODI series they have played recently. Although in between they lost a match against Bangladesh and was also in trouble in the final but thanks to Murali magical display with the bat they were able to clinch the title. Sri Lanka will be also aware of the fact that they were not able to win the series on last three successions at their home. This is worrying shine for Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawardne as well as Sri Lankan fans.
Indian team looks more settled in each department of the game but they can not take Sri Lankan lightly especially with M.Muralitharan, A.Mendis and N.Kulasekara all three in top bowling form.
Watch out for
Z.Khan: This man is getting better and better day by day. He is in superb form as we have seen recently in the Ranji Trophy final he went onto bag seven wickets. On the last tour to Sri Lanka this man looks real threat for the Sri Lankan top order and he will be eying same performance.
N.Kulasekara: In the absence of veteran C.Vaas, this man done extremely well with the new bowl. He enjoyed his great year 2008 and now started the 2009 with bang by picking up 12 wickets in the six matches at an average of 13.33. His success in the last series against India make him a real threat fro the Indian top orders.
Pitch and conditions
The pitch and condition at Dambulla is likely to favor the team batting second. Since in the morning pitch will provide help for the fast bowlers. So team winning the toss would like to have a bowl on this wicket. Learning from the experience from the past India team went on the tour with five seam and swing bowlers.
Stats & Trivia
Mualitharan is only three wickets away from becoming the leading wicket takers in one day international surpassing the Wasim Akram record.
Sri Lanka manages to won 14 out of 20 ODI they have played here at Rangiri Dambulla Stadium.
Indian team is likely to go into the match with three seam attack and one spinner. On the other hand Sri Lanka is likely to retain the same squad that played against Pakistan at Lahore.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at India Time on 28th Of January)
India Squad: Sachin Tendulkar, V.Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Y.Singh, M.S.Dhoni (Captain & WK), Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, P.Ojha, Z.Khan,I.Sharma, M.Patel.