When nothing seems to going the right way, India would look to get their ODI tri-series campaign on track when they clash with Sri Lanka on Wednesday. India will meet Sri Lanka for the first time since the 2011 World Cup final.
It is the batting that has let down India in the Test series and the first one-dayer against Australia. But the match against Sri Lanka with a weak bowling attack gives the Indian batsmen an opportunity to bounce back. In the first ODI, skipper MS Dhoni made the folly of playing three spinners which eventually backfired, so there are chances of a changed bowling attack.
Going by the reputation of the WACA pitch, India would consider the option of bringing back experienced Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav and in order to accommodate the two speedsters either R Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja may sit out.
In the first match, India missed a trick by resting Virender Sehwag, but the dashing opener is confident of playing in the second tie. Sehwag then has to come in at the expense of Gautam Gambhir or Sachin Tendulkar.
India must be hurting from last month’s visit to Perth where they lost the third Test against Australia in two and a half days, but this time around they would like to reverse the result at this venue. On the other hand Sri Lanka is also going through a tough phase be it a change of captain, non-payment issues and reports of internal strife among the players. But as a team they haven’t played that badly with some youngsters bursting into the scene with a bang and making their presence felt.
Sri Lanka would like to forget the first ODI against South Africa where chasing a target of 301 they were bundled out for 43 in 20 overs. But in the last two matches of the five-match series the Lankans bounced back to chase down scores of 300 bringing back the lost pride. The resurgence against South Africa was possible because of Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne and Thisara Perera.
With the emergence of these promising youngsters, Sri Lanka has a healthy mix of youth and experience. At the top there are Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga followed by the classy Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. In the bowling line-up they have Lasith Malinga, arguably the best in limited-overs cricket.
Going by the recent performances of both the teams, Sri Lanka have an upper hand and India would not make the mistake of taking them lightly as an opponent.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Angelo Matthews, Kumar Sangakkara, Tilllakaratne Dilshan Fervez Mehroof, Lasith Malinga, Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera, Sachitra Senanayke, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Chanaka Welegedara, Dhamika Prasad, Thilan Samraweera, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara.
India: Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Umesh Yadav, Rahul Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan.