Testing time for Dhoni & brigade as Lankan Tigers won’t let home advantage slip their grasp

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After a long break, Indian cricket team will once again be in action as they will take on Sri Lanka in a five-match one-day series. Indian players have not played a single match after the Indian Premier League and will be looking to kick-start the season with some good performances.

India’s captain, MS Dhoni has said that it is the start of a new season and there are some areas on which the Indian team has to improve. He also said that the series will help them assess the team and to test how much the team has improved from the time they played their last international match.

Unlike India, Sri Lanka has been playing international cricket and in the recent series, they defeated Pakistan in both one-dayers and the following Test series. Sri Lanka captain, Mahela Jayawardene said that his team will be looking continue the good work.

The series is very important for both teams, as the T20 World Cup will be played in same conditions and these two teams are prime contenders to win the title. For India, the stakes are very high, Indian team is going through a tough time and they desperately need a solid performance. They failed to win a single limited over match in England and failed to qualify for the finals in the following one-day series in Australia and Bangladesh.
The series will start on Saturday and the viewers should expect a keen contest. Both these teams play a lot of cricket against each other and it promises to be one solid battle.

There are number of players who thrive on an opportunity to play against each other and there records show that. Let’s have a look at some of the players who will be itching to take the field on the coming Saturday.

Payers to watch out from the Indian team:

Virender Sehwag: This dashing opener will make a comeback into the Indian squad after a long time. Sehwag played in Australia and was dropped from the Asia Cup on fitness grounds. There have been a lot of talks about the tension between Sehwag and Indian skipper MS Dhoni and both these players will be looking to put this to an end by putting up some god performances. Sehwag was in tremendous form in the IPL and will be looking to replicate his performance. He is one of the most dangerous openers ever Sri Lanka will have to go past him if they want to win the match.

Virat Kohli:
The new vice-captain of India was in tremendous form in international cricket before the break and will look to carry forward the same form in this season as well. Kohli played some of the best one-day innings in the past six months and one of them came against Sri Lanka. Kohli literally assaulted the Sri Lankan bowlers in Australia and made a mockery of them. He dominated Lasith Malinga and will be looking to achieve his feat. He is one of the most exciting new talents going around in the world and all eyes will be on him when the two teams will meet.

Zaheer Khan: Zaheer Khan is also making a comeback into the Indian squad and the season campaigner will be looking to have a solid start to a new season. India will play some tough series in the coming future and they will want their number one bowler to be at his best. Zaheer will be itching to have a bowl at some of the Sri Lankan left-handers.

R Ashwin: Ashwin has been India’s preferred spinner since the time Harbhajan Singh was dropped from the team. In the past few series Ashwin has been below par and his performance has been disappointing to say the least. Ashwin will be looking to have a got in the conditions suited to his bowling and will be looking to leave a mark. With Harbhajan Singh in the probables list for the T20 World Cup, Ashwin will know that he will have to deliver some goods in this series or he might lose his position.

Players to watch out from Sri Lanka:

Kumar Sangakkara: He was in sublime touch against Pakistan in the Test series and this stylish left-hander has always enjoyed batting against the Indians. He is one of the best batsmen in the Sri Lankan outfit and has always delivered when the chips are down. Sangakkara struggled in IPL and will be looking to show his worth as a batsman to the Indian audience.
Angelo Mathews: This Sri Lankan all-rounder is one of the best finishers in the world. He assesses the situation very well and has the ability to play according to the team’s need. Mathews is a clean striker of a cricket ball and has improved his batting a lot. He is more than handy with the ball and has troubled Indians in the past with the swing he gets.

Nuwan Kulasekara: He is fast turning into the strike-bowler for Sri Lanka. Malinga has struggled in the recent past and his performance has been bad against the Indians, hence the pressure will be on Kulasekara to provide the initial break-through to his team. He played a major role in Sri Lanka’s win over Pakistan and bowled at a nagging length. His in-dippers can create a ot of problems to the Indian batsmen.

Thisara Perera: He had a dream series against Pakistan where he picked important wickets in both Test and one-day matches. Perera has a lovely out-swinger and he bowls at a good pace. He looks to make the batsmen drive and has the ability to produce outside edges. He is equally dangerous with the bat and can take the match away in a matter of few overs.

By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News Network

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