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Mar 12, 2012 at 05:40pm IST

Asia Cup: India, SL resume rivalry

If the recently-concluded CB Series is anything to go by, then the second match of the Asia Cup between India and Sri Lanka should keep the supporters of both sides on their tenterhooks. However, the frame of mind that the two teams find themselves in could not be more contrasting.

While the Indians have been on the receiving end of some serious flak as a result of their tour of Australia, which for all meaningful purposes was disastrous, Sri Lanka - led brilliantly by their skipper Mahela Jayawardene - were simply exhilarating in the tri-series, where they very nearly came up with the perfect ending.

Even though they finished second to Australia in the best-of-three finals, Sri Lanka actually ended up with a better head-to-head record against the four-time world champions in the competition. But more importantly, the brand of cricket played by them is sure to give their Asian competitors in the ongoing tournament plenty to think about.

Asia Cup: India, Sri Lanka resume rivalry

The frame of mind that the two teams find themselves in, could not be more contrasting.

India, on the other hand, will derive their belief from the fact that they have been fairly competitive against their sub-continental rivals in recent times. They, in fact, got the better of the Lankans twice in the CB Series, which included a mammoth chase in Hobart, which also happened to be the last time that the two sides clashed in a one-dayer, having already played out a dramatic tie earlier against them at the WACA.

Both sides are well matched, taking into account their previous Asia Cup encounters. Though Sri Lanka have been victorious on nine occasions as against eight by India, it was MS Dhoni's men who took the honours in the final of the 2010 edition.

Having said that, the Indian team has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately, be it the controversial 'resting' of Virender Sehwag, or the appointment of Virat Kohli ahead of Gautam Gambhir as Dhoni's deputy. Even the long overdue 100th international hundred of Sachin Tendulkar has become more of a chore which needs to be gotten out of the way rather than a moment to relish.

It's a completely different story in the Sri Lankan camp, however. It's positive vibes all the way, be it the leadership of Jayawardene, the revelation of Nuwan Kulasekara as a lower-order batsman, the sublime form of Tillakratne Dilshan and Dinesh Chandimal, or simply the desire to fight all the way as a unit.

Even though Sri Lanka cannot be termed as outright favourites going into Tuesday's fixture against India, without a doubt they sure will be looking to set the benchmark.

Squads:

India:

MS Dhoni (captain & wk), Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Manoj Tiwary, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan, Ashok Dinda

Sri Lanka:

Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews, Tillakratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Thisara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Sachithra Senanayake, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Seekkuge Prasanna, Suranga Lakmal

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