India and Sri Lanka will meet each other for the fifth time in the space of a month or so! Tomorrow, the two 2011 World Cup Finalists will clash at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur for the second match of the Micromax Asia Cup 2012.
Sri Lanka were more consistent than India in the last 30 days which got them into the finals of the CB Series in Australia. However, the Lankans will be remembering their humiliating defeat at Hobart in which India smashed a target of 321 inside 37 overs! Talent-wise India looks the better side than Sri Lanka any day.
Both the sides – India and Sri Lanka are the favourites to win this edition of the Asia Cup as Pakistan had looked pretty ordinary against hosts Bangladesh yesterday. Pakistan doesn’t have the big names that can scare oppositions and is more of a team that is content on rebuilding itself. Sri Lanka have looked a good fighting unit under Mahela Jayawardene while India will be happy to get back to playing cricket in the batsmen friendly sub-continental pitches.
The Indian team has been boosted with the inclusion of the mighty hitter Yusuf Pathan who should clobber the spinners if given a chance in this tournament. It’s pretty tough to get into the Indian middle order with plenty of special talent available. Yusuf could be preferred in the place of Ravindra Jadeja with the latter not able to fire with the bat in his given opportunities. Another man waiting to get into the playing XI is Manoj Tiwary whose last ODI innings was a superb century against West Indies. But Tiwary since then was left to the status of being a passenger on the Australian tour as he wasn’t given a single game in the entire CB Series!
In the bowling department, Ashok Dinda is likely to be given an opportunity in what will be his comeback into the Indian team. Dinda seems to have become a much-improved bowler since the time he made his international debut for India. The wiry fast bowler has been consistently taking wickets in the domestic matches for Bengal and East Zone. Leg spinner Rahul Sharma will also be hopeful of getting into the side. The tall leggie bowled really well in the limited opportunities so far.
Sri Lanka will be hoping to get its three all-rounders in top fitness. Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera and Farveez Maharoof will be the key for Sri Lanka’s success in this tournament. The trio did a fabulous job in Australia and would look to repeat the same in Bangladesh. The Lankans have a slightly weak spin department headed by Sachithra Senanayake.
The timings of the second match of the Micromax Asia Cup between India and Sri Lanka to be played tomorrow on March 13th will be 14:00 local/08:00 GMT/13:30 IST.
Following are the squads for tomorrow’s match:
India Squad for Asia Cup 2012 : M S Dhoni (Captain), Virat Kohli (Vice-Captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, R inay Kumar, Rahul Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan and Ashok Dinda