India, Sri Lanka both aim to clinch ODI series

India will be without star batsman Sachin Tendulkar when it tries to clinch the four-match limited-over international series against Sri Lanka on Saturday (today) - their last game ahead of the Cricket World Cup (CWC).

Tendulkar complained of a stiff back during the third match in Margao on Wednesday, which India won by five wickets to level the series 1-1. India also decided to rest pace bowler Shantakumaran Sreesanth and leg-spinner Anil Kumble for Saturday’s match.

A win could be a morale-booster for either team ahead of the World Cup beginning in the Caribbean next month.

Dravid said pace bowler Irfan Pathan, who missed all previous matches against Sri Lanka, appears to have recovered from a sore shoulder. A decision on his inclusion in the team will be taken on Saturday (today).

Though India won the preceding one-day series against the West Indies 3-1, their key players, including Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh, have been struggling to regain form.

Sri Lanka is facing no injury problem, said skipper Mahela Jayawardene.

“Both teams are going into the game to win the series,” Jayawardene said. “We can’t emphasise the World Cup too much,” he explained.

Dravid said there might be something for quick bowlers in the wicket at the Andhra cricket stadium, where he also expects the batsmen to do well with the ball likely to come on to the bat.

The opening game in Calcutta on Feb 8 was abandoned after heavy showers disrupted play. Sri Lanka won the second game by five runs in the western city of Rajkot last week. India defeated Sri Lanka 6-1 in one-dayers during the last series in 2005.

Squads: India (from): Rahul Dravid (captain), Sourav Ganguly, Robin Uthappa, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan and Dinesh Kartik.

Sri Lanka (from): Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, Tilekaratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Upul Chandana, Chamara Silva, Malinga Bandara, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Zoysa and Nuwan Kulasekara.
Source:The News

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Written by Team CricketViewer on February 17th, 2007 with 39 Views

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