8 C
New York
Thursday, April 18, 2024

4th ODI: India aim to go for the kill against Lanka

COLOMBO: Trailing in the five-match series and going into the must-win fourth game on Tuesday at the Premadasa, the Sri Lankans are in disarray.


Their most prolific wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara and frontline pacer Nuwan Kulasekara are out with injuries, giving the team a major worry.The Sri Lankan coach Graham Ford was candid enough to admit that injuries have set the team back.”Yes, losing Sanga is a great blow and without Kulasekara, the bowling resources have also been hit. But on the other hand, it gives us the option to test out the players on the bench. For incoming players it is a good opportunity to showcase their talent.””No doubt we are lagging in the series and injuries have taken a toll. But, as we know, the Sri Lankans are great fighters and capable of coming back strongly,” the Lanka coach said.After having their opponents on the backfoot on home turf, India, on their part, aim to deliver the sucker-punch here itself, before moving to Pallekele for the fifth and final ODI and the one-off T20 game on August 7, which will herald the end of the tour.Suresh Raina, talking to the media at the team hotel before leaving for optional practice, said that with momentum on their side, the Indians would look to take an unbeatable lead in the fourth game itself.”The difficult run-chase on Saturday night was a big boost to the team morale after the batting disaster in the second game at Hambantota. We aim to tame the Lankans in their den once again, though we realise they will come hard at us after the setback they suffered in the previous game.”Raina said that there was not much concern in the team about the poor form of key batsmen. “We are a strong batting line up. Two players (Kohli and Gambhir) have already got hundreds and Viru bhai a near-one.”I have got a couple of half-centuries. So the batting is looking good. I am sure the others will also come up with good scores in the last two games.”He also said that the team was not unduly worried about the bowling, especially the pace department. “The pitches here are flat and even a bowler like Malinga goes for 60 or 70 runs. For pacers like Umesh Yadav and Ashok Dinda, it is a great opportunity to learn to bowl on such flat wickets,” Raina said while defending the bowlers.When Mahendra Singh Dhoni goes in for the toss, there will be great interest to see if Manoj Tiwary will finally get a look-in at the expense of the struggling Rohit Sharma.The Mumbai middle order batsmen scored just five in the first game, followed by two ducks. This year he is averaging a bare 16. But the management has been backing his talent to the hilt. So, it will be interesting to see if the team management finally decides to try out Tiwary, who scored a hundred in the last ODI he played over six months ago.There is another Sharma who has been in the news for the last couple of months. The lanky Punjab leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, who has been under a cloud after testing positive for drugs at a rave party during the IPL. But he showed great resilience by bowling well in the third game, despite the humiliation of being under investigation for drug-use.Sanga disappointed to miss out“It’s disappointing to be injured in the midst of a series and also miss out on the first Sri Lankan Premier League. I am positive that I would be fit for the T20 World Cup at home in a couple of months,” said Kumar Sangakkara.The wicketkeeper-batsman was hit by an Ashok Dinda bouncer on his knuckles and fractured his little figure.”It was not a vicious bouncer. But the ball hit me in the most vulnerable part of my hand. But, this side it gives a youngster an opportunity to step in and show his talent.”

Related Articles

Latest Articles