Port of Spain: The Indian team would look to build on their momentum from the game against the West Indies as they take on Sri Lanka in the last group match of the Celkon Mobile Cup tri-series.
Sunday's West Indies Sri Lanka clash, which further got postponed to Monday has provided Virat Kohli and his men the clear mathematical equation. According to statisticians, all India need to do is to win by one run of off the last ball. An Indian win ensure they have a better run-rate than the West Indies, which will allow them to ease their way through to the final.
India started off the campaign on a poor note, losing to both West Indies and Sri Lanka back to back. The comprehensive defeat to Lanka has put Team India under the current predicament. However, they managed to restore their pride with a convincing 106-run win over the Windies when the home side's batting failed to click in response to India's 311, led by skipper Kohli who registered his 14th ODI century.
Not all is lost yet. The previous game was once again a testimony of what the team is capable of on their day. After the collapse against the Lankan bowlers, the batting looked at its dominating best with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma putting up a hundred run stand. Both batsmen looked at ease for the first time in the series and displayed amazing strokeplay. Kohli roared back to form with a proverbial captain's knock that allowed the team to sail past the 300-run mark. The side without MS Dhoni finally looked in the thick of things and this this could only mean good and better things for the team.
The bowling unit looked promising once again as Bhuvneshwar Kumar continued to trouble the big Jamaican Chris Gayle. He and Umesh Yadav picked up three wickets apiece, with Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja bagging two wickets each. The Windies struggled against both seam and spin and bundled out for 171 courtesy some spotless bowling from the Men in Blue.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand have blown hot and cold but the win against the hosts in a virtually two-day game has all but cemented their final berth. A win would sail them and the West Indies through. Batting doesn't seem to be any cause of concern for the Lankans as hundreds from Upul Tharanga and Mahela Jayawardene and a decisive 90 from Kumar Sangakkara in the previous game set the wheels in motion.
Their bowling regained form in the last match. Despite banking on Lasith Malinga to make early inroads for the team, Rangana Herath and Sachitra Senanayake have troubled the batsmen on tricky West Indian conditions. Angelo Mathews' four-wicket haul and Shaminda Eranga's three scalps in the last game were added bonus and this would help a great deal against a formidable Indian batting line-up.
The two sides have faced each other on numerous occasions in the past 18 months but none have proved to be more decisive than Tuesday's encounter.
India: 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Murali Vijay, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Ravichandran Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav.
Sri Lanka: 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Mahela Jayawardene, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Lahiru Thirimanne, 6 Angelo Mathews (capt), 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Sachitra Senanayake, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Shaminda Eranga.