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Preview: Victory will take India closer to No. 1

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Published: Monday, July 23, 2012, 14:56 [IST]
 
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Hambantota, Jul 23: India will be aiming to secure another victory in the second One Day International here on Tuesday but at the same time will be wary of Sri Lankan fightback.

It will be the same setting of Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium in Hambantota for the second of the five exchanges between the familiar outfits.

Victory will take India closer to No. 1

India, if they make a clean sweep, will become world number one in ODIs. Having cleared one hurdle, there are four more. However, they will become No. 1 once the score is 3-0 in their favour but can slip down the rankings if they lose the fourth and fifth ODIs.

On Saturday, MS Dhoni-led team won by 21 runs in front of near-empty stadium. Virat Kohli was the Man-of-the-match for his 12th ODI hundred.

For the hosts, Kumar Sangakkara too hit a century but ended up on the losing side as they fell short of 21 runs in the chase of 315.

Winning the toss helped Dhoni in the first day and night game. It is also an advantage for team batting first and piling up big runs on the board. That is what India did on Saturday and their bowlers successfully defended the score.

Apart from Kohli, Virender Sehwag too clicked with the bat. He was unfortunate to have been run out on 96. Suresh Raina hit a half century while there is concern over the form for Rohit Sharma.

In his last 11 innings, Rohit has managed only one half century. India can give a chance to Ajinkya Rahane or Manoj Tiwary in the place of the Mumbai right-hander.

Once again, Indian vice-captain Kohli will be the cynosure. He got to his fourth hundred in five matches and a hat-trick of tons against the Islanders.

If at all there is one man who Sri Lankan would want to get early, it would be Kohli. Since Australia tri-series early this year, the Delhi boy has tormented Sri Lankan bowlers including their spearhead Lasith Malinga.

Sri Lanka will be hampered by the absence of paceman Nuwan Kulasekara. He injured his groin while fielding on Saturday and was subsequently ruled out of the series.

Already having conceded more than 300 in the first game, Sri Lankan bowling will be a worry without Kulasekara. Malinga too was ineffective on that day, leaking 83 runs for no success in 10 overs.

India's bowlers clicked initially but gave away too many runs in the final overs. Dhoni did admit that this was a concern heading into tomorrow's game.

Irfan Pathan, taking the new ball, impressed. He took two wickets for 37 in 10 overs. Umesh Yadav was expensive with 76 runs off 10 but had two dismissals.

Squads:

India: MS Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Pragyan Ojha, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedera, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Nuwan Pradeep.

Match starts at 2.30PM IST. Catch all live updates, ball by ball commentary here on www.thatscricket.com

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