India attempt to level series against Sri Lanka today

India square off with Sri Lanka in the third limited-overs international on Wednesday (today) and attempt to level the series against a squad that has played well of late.

India suffered a five-run defeat by Sri Lanka in the second one-dayer in a thrilling last-ball finish in the western Indian city of Rajkot on Sunday. The victory boosted the morale of the Sri Lankans.

Sri Lanka have played impressive cricket over the past year, and captain Mahela Jayawardene said “a team has to really play well to beat us.”

“Wednesday’s (today’s) match is a good challenge for us ahead of the World Cup,” Jayawardene told reporters in the southwestern tourist resort of Goa on Tuesday. The opening game of the four-match series in Calcutta was abandoned on Thursday after heavy showers disrupted play.

The Sri Lankans practiced on Tuesday without star performer Kumar Sangakkara whose scintillating 110 led his team to victory after a top-order slide. “There is nothing serious. He just had a stomach bout and will be fine on Wednesday,” said Jayawardene.

Meanwhile, Indian leg-spinner Anil Kumble will miss out due to personal reasons, skipper Rahul Dravid told a news conference on Tuesday. Irfan Pathan and Shanthakumaran Sreesanth would also miss the match on Wednesday, he added.

“Anil had to go home and is expected back tonight,” Dravid said as he announced the 12 players for the match. “Irfan (Pathan) is not 100 percent fit (and) we won’t be risking him in Wednesday’s game. Missing out of the 12 are (Shanthakumaran) Sreesanth and Kumble,” the skipper added.

However middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh was declared fit on Tuesday by team management. Yuvraj is eager to get back into form after his three-month absence because of a knee injury.

Jayawardene expects Wednesday’s match to be a high scoring one. “There is not much grass on the wicket. But it looks to be a very good flat one-day wicket,” he said. India defeated Sri Lanka 6-1 in one-dayers during the last series in 2005.
Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on February 14th, 2007 with 43 Views

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