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Thatscricket.com - Cricket News - India seek to overcome nightmare

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2000, 0:15 [IST]
 
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Before the tournament here, the Indian team management had asked for a specialist off-spinner considering a plethora of left-handers in the rival ranks, but the BCCI selectors retained the same squad that played in Nairobi.Both Ganguly and Gaekwad dismissed that the match, seen more as a curtain-raiser for the final, would have any psychological bearing on the team. ''Not at all ... It is a good wicket with a good bounce,'' the skipper said.India would expect young Yuvraj Singh to find his nick here after a terrific show in his first series in Nairobi where he almost single-handedly took on the mighty Australian attack to shape India's win. ''He (Yuvraj) has to sort it out himself,'' Ganguly said.

About himself, the Indian captain (who had only one good score of 66 against Zimbabwe) said,''It will depend if I survive the first 15 overs.''India will as usual depend on a rollicking start from Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar. They are yet to click together in this tournament.Jayasuriya said his basic attack will comprise three seamers and a spinner with Murali capable of handling any situation. ''We are in a good shape for the finals having won all the four games.''He sounded confident of the team's batting depth. ''If the openers fail, the middle order comes through,'' Jayasuriya said and praised the batting of Atapattu and Mahela in the face of early losses.

Asked if the same team would be fielded for the finals, coach Dave Whatmore after a long thought said, ''it will be decided later.'' The dew factor will also play an important role, especially for the team fielding second as was seen in a few matches leading to a change in playing conditions, which now allow change of the ball after 35 overs in the first innings and after 30 and 40 overs in the second.''I have been keeping track of the weather conditions but even with the same parameters the conditions on the ground vary,'' Gaekwad said.

During India's match against Zimbabwe on October 26 there was substantial dew, which was not the case on Friday. ''But the weather parameters like temperatures and humidity were the same,'' Gaekwad said. India had blamed its first match lost to Lanka on excessive dew saying it made it difficult for the bowlers to grip the ball properly. In this context, toss could play an important role. Only India-Sri Lanka matches have evinced good crowd response in the series and a full house is expected for the clash between two former world champions.

The teams: India (from): Saurav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Yuvraj Singh, Robin Singh, Hemang Badani, S Sriram, Vijay Dahiya, Ajit Agarkar, Sunil Joshi, Zaheer Khan, Venkatesh Prasad, Mohammad Kaif and Anil Kumble.

Sri Lanka (from): Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Marvan Atapattu, Mahela Jayawardena, Kumar Sangakkara, Russel Arnold, Dilshan Tillekeratne, K Upasantha, Chaminda Vaas, Muthiah Muralitharan, Nuwan Zoysa, Upul Chanadana, Avishka Gunawardena and Kaushilya Weeraratne.

Umpires: G Sharp and S Dunne.Third Umpire: D Harper.Match Referee: Denis Lindsay.Start of play: 14.30 hrs local time (16.00 hrs IST).UNI

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