Preview: 5th ODI: Team India eye No 2 spot

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Updated: Friday, August 3, 2012, 16:40 [IST]
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Preview: Team India eye No 2 spot

Pallekele, Aug 3: Having won the series 3-1, India now eye No 2 spot as a win at Pallekele in the fifth and final ODI against Sri Lanka on Saturday, would ensure a second spot in ICC Rankings.

India, Sri Lanka have played nine matches so far against each other in Australia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka while India have dominated with 6 wins as Lankans have registered only 2 wins in the recent past.

The fifth ODI would be a dead rubber as India has already won the series, a win on Saturday would help India climb to No 2 spot in the ODI Rankings, while Lanka would be placed fifth in the points table.

Interestingly, India's previous series in 2008 and 2009 both were won before heading towards the final match of the series, and eventually Sri Lanka fought for pride as they won both the matches in 2008 and 2009 which was considered to be a dead rubber.

Similarly, this time around, Lankans have lost 2 matches in a row, and would definitely put up a fight in the fifth ODI as they play in Pallekele on Saturday.

Apart from a few impressive knocks, Lankan batsmen have not dominated the attack, as Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan have played some vital knocks but aren't consistent which is causing more problems to the hosts with the in-form Kumar Sangakkara also injured and ruled out of the series.

With Virat Kohli's current form, Lankans seem to wonder what would be a challenging score for the Indians as they have struggled to cross 250 plus due to their inconsistency in the top order.

If that wasn't enough their bowlers have also let them down as Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath have been leaking too many runs, as Mathews and Perera have been reliable when compared to the other two.

This further suggests that Herath might make way for Sachitra Senanayake in the fifth ODI.

India on the other hand, are quite pleased with the outcome after having registered a series win and mission accomplished, would like to give Ajinkya Rahane a chance to play as he has been awaiting for a chance to play his first international game since Dec 11, 2011.

Rohit Sharma, who has been given too many opportunities to showcase his talent might have to make way for Rahane as he has averaged a mere 2.25 in the series so far.


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

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


Story first published:  Friday, August 3, 2012, 14:49 [IST]
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