Perth, Feb 7: India and Sri Lanka, the 2011 World Cup finalists, will square off in a tri-series game here at the WACA Ground on Wednesday, a first clash since that night at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2.
Reigning world champions India are still aiming to stamp their authority on the current tour of Australia. They have been on the winning side only once on this trip so far, a Twenty20 triumph that came in Melbourne. And at the same Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) they started the tri-series campaign on a losing note, beaten by the home team by 65 runs.
You never like to change a winning combination. But what if the team keeps on losing. It is time to bring in new personnel who could deliver that success. So, Indian captain MS Dhoni needs to opt for some pace at the WACA which is traditionally known for assisting the quicks.
Dhoni erred for Melbourne One-Dayer by selecting two specialist spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin and Rahul Sharma. While the former was taken for 48 runs in five over, Rahul had a good game.
India need to go in with three pacemen and a lone slow bowler in Rahul. If Dhoni wants to call upon more spin weapons, there is always the likes of Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Virender Sehwag, who is set to return to the playing 11 after getting rest from the opening game.
Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan has not played a game since the Test series and he might also be in for a recall. R Vinay Kumar and Praveen Kumar have done their duties well and the team can rely on them again.
It is the batting department that has been a worry for India. Raina, Rohit, Virat Kohli and Sehwag have to come good against Sri Lanka. And also Sachin Tendulkar and Dhoni. If one of these specialists get a century it makes the job easier.
Irfan Pathan is also waiting for an opportunity since landing in Australia for the shorter formats. Ravindra Jadeja could be the man to make way for Pathan.
Sri Lanka too have their own problems after an unimpressive tour to South Africa. Tillakaratne Dilshan quit as captain and Mahela Jayawardene is back as the leader. There is a new coach in Graham Ford, for Geoff Marsh.
Also, Sri Lankan cricketers are playing without wages. They haven't been paid for 10 months.
Lasith Malinga will be the one bowler Indian batsmen need to handle with caution. The Sri Lankan batting will revolve around their giants Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. And again they will hope for Dilshan to blaze away to a good start. There is also the young Dinesh Chandimal, who has proved his worth. For the big hits, Thisara Perera is the man for them.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Parthiv Patel, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Kulasekera, Chanaka Welegedera, Dhammika Prasad.
Umpires: Nigel Llong (England) and Paul Reiffel (Australia)
Third Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (Australia)
Match Referee: Andrew Pycroft (Zimbabwe)
Match starts at 9.50 AM IST
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