Galle: Spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan will be appearing in the Test arena for the final time as Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Team India will take on Host Sri Lanka in the first Test of three match-series on Sunday.
Murali is just eight wickets short of the magical 800 mark. Sri Lankans have a very impressive record against the Indian team playing at home. The last time India won a Test series in the island nation was in 1993 under Mohammed Azharuddin with a 1-0 scoreline and their track record has not been too impressive
With Zaheer Khan out injured along with S Sreeshanth, India with a depleted bowling attack will be determined to come out with a strong performance as the two teams face off. The Indians will be heavily relying on Harbhajan Singh to get the all important wickets for the tourist. The rest of the bowling side looks very raw including Ishant Sharma who has had few outings.
The Indian bowling attack clearly looked ordinary during three-day warm match against Sri Lanka Board President XI. Dhoni will also be heavily relying on his batting line-up to produce runs and pressurize the Sri Lankan team.
Sri Lanka on the other side have a good all-round side and will be hoping to keep the Sri Lankan record intact.
Sri Lanka have won eight of the last nine series at home and with players like captain Kumara Sangakarra, Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera and Thilina Kandambi in their ranks.
Lasith Malinga will be leading the pace attack for the home team and he would be hoping to cause havoc in the Indian batting along with Muralitharan who will be determined to finish off on a high note as he says goodbye to International Test Cricket.
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India: M S Dhoni (C), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Murali Vijay, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Amit Mishra, Pragyan Ojha and Abhimanyu Mithun.
Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakarra (C), Muttiah Muralitharan, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Tharanga Paranavitana, Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera, Angelo Mathews, Prasanna Jayawardene, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath, Dilhara Fernando, Dammika Prasad, Suraj Randiv, Thilina Kandamby, Chanaka Welegedara, Lahiru Thirimanne.