Brisbane: India seek to get their momentum back in the ongoing tri-series when they clash with a resurgent Sri Lanka at the Gabba here on Tuesday.
In the absence of in-form skipper MS Dhoni, who will miss the eighth match of the CB Series due to a one-match ban for slow over rate, Virender Sehwag will lead the team, who is fighting a poor batting form.
Dhoni's ban will only add to India's batting woes as the skipper, along with Gautam Gambhir, has been the only batsmen in form for the visitors. Where Dhoni's 191 runs put him at the third place in highest scorers in the CB series so far, Gambhir has got 193. Sachin Tendulkar's availability also remains doubtful after he was hit on the helmet by a Brett Lee bouncer in Sunday's loss, forcing him to undergo a precautionary MRI scan.
After being down and out in the Test series against Australia, India looked to have clawed back in the one-day series with two wins and a tie, but their batsmen have let them down. At the top of the order, they have to deal with the experimental rotation policy to which Gautam Gambhir has only responded well. The inexperienced middle-order of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina has been disappointing so far. Rohit has 79 runs from five matches, while Raina has 102 from as many knocks. In Dhoni's absence, reserve wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel will get a game but is unlikely to match the heroics of his skipper.
From the last match, it is quite evident that the Gabba track has a lot in it for the pacers, and most likely India will go in with an unchanged bowling attack. However, they might be tempted to bring in R Ashwin to add a bit more balance to their attack.
Sri Lanka on the other hand is a charged up team under Mahela Jayawardene. The team lifted itself after initial setbacks in the series to beat Australia with a bonus point in their last game.
Jayawardene, after taking charge of the Lankan team, found his touch in the win against Australia in Sydney where he opened the innings with Tillakaratne Dilshan. As a captain, he is not afraid to experiment and more importantly he is willing to lead from the front.
On paper Sri Lanka look more balanced with youngsters such as Dinesh Chandimal, Thisara Perera and Angelo Mathews, who can be dangerous when the chips are down. Former captain Kumar Sangakkara has been a downer so far but is just a knock away from getting back among the runs.
India are right now three points clear of Sri Lanka, which means a win for Sri Lanka will only make things interesting as the CB Series moves towards its business end.
India: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Parthiv Patel, Ravinder Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Zaheer Khan, Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thiramanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Thisara Perera, Angelo Matthews, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Fervez Maharoof and Rangana Herath