India Vs SL: Final Test Match at P Sara Oval

Published: Monday, August 2, 2010, 15:26 [IST]
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India look to square the series

Though India are out of danger of losing top spot in Test rankings, Dhoni and his men will be looking for a victory which will help them square the series, as the tourists are trailing by 1-0 after a 10 wicket defeat in the opening Test match at Galle.

India still have a huge worry in their bowling department as Harbhajan Singh, and his partner Pragyan Ohja has been very ordinary and not been able to exploit the Sri Lankan conditions so far. Nor have the pace bowlers been able to fire for the Indians. Ishant Sharma impressed briefly in the second Test but has been off-colour for most of the series and though young Abhimanyu Mithun has given it his all, the lifeless track in the Sinhalese Sports Club(SSC) didn't help boost his confidence ahead of the final Test match.

On a positive note, the batsmen on the other hand have had a good share of performances. Especially during the second Test match the likes of Sachin Tendulkar who scored a superb double ton, debutant Suresh Raina and Virender Sehwag at the start of innings had been able to match Sangakkara and rest of the Sri Lankan batting.

Infact, the Indians have a few selection dilemmas to deal with on the eve of the match at the P Sara Oval. With Suresh Raina scoring a century on debut in the drawn second Test, the place of Yuvraj Singh, who was down with flu, is uncertain for the series finale.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was non-committal on which of the two would make the playing XI and it remains to be seen whether Yuvraj's past reputation can score over Raina's red-hot current form for the finale Test.

Veteran Sachin Tendulkar, who is set to surpass Steve Waugh's record of being the most capped player in Test cricket if he plays tomorrow, was also down with a groin problem which did not allow him to take the field on the final day of the second Test.

But the 37-year-old iconic maestro, who scored a fifth career double hundred in the second Test, also practiced in the nets yesterday, an indication that he would be padding in his record 169th Test.

In the Sri Lankan Camp, they will be hoping to keep their winning record intact and win the final Test match to lift the series.

The bowling attack will be bolstered with the return of Lasith Malinga. Man of the match winner in the opening Test match, Malinga has been lethal and managed to get the important breakthroughs for the Islanders in the opening Test match.

The ground is famous for Sri Lanka's first ever Test - against England in 1982. The venue also registered Sri Lanka's first ever Test triumph - against India.

Sri Lanka have won the last five Tests contested at this venue (since 2005) - two against Bangladesh and one each against South Africa, India and Pakistan.

India have played three Tests at this venue, losing two while the remaining one could not produce a result.


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