ICL: Indian Cricket League


Sri Lanka press faith in youth

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The big picture

West Indies’ comeback at the Queen’s Park Oval to square the Test series 1-1 has set up the three-match one-day series perfectly. It would be premature to tag either side as the favourites, looking at their recent run of form. West Indies have the opportunity to regain lost pride as a one-day team and stage a comeback after a disappointing tour of South Africa, in which they lost the ODI series 5-0. Sri Lanka too have slipped as a one-day team, losing at home to England and being eliminated before the finals in the CB Series in Australia. However, they’ve proved that they are a dangerous side in the West Indies, finishing runners-up in the World Cup last year. They’ve rested Muttiah Muralitharan for the one-dayers and will bank on a few fresh faces to come good.

A 3-0 whitewash could see Sri Lanka move up the rankings by one position to No.5, ahead of Pakistan. However, if they lose the series, they will slip to No.7. For West Indies, even a 3-0 win won’t give them a promotion in the rankings from No.8.

Form guide - West Indies

Last five matches: LLLLL

Player to watch: Sewnarine Chattergoon is not a new face in the West Indies line-up, having played six one-dayers before his debut Test in Port of Spain last week. He had an impressive one-day series in South Africa, with scores of 34, 52 and 48, ending with an average of 44.66. His knock of 46 on his Test debut earned him praise from captain Chris Gayle and both will probably walk out as West Indies’ new opening pair. Chattergoon will be expected to play a steadying hand to the naturally aggressive Gayle.

Form guide - Sri Lanka

Last five matches: LLLLW

Player to watch: In Muralitharan’s absence, Malinga Bandara will shoulder Sri Lanka’s spin attack. A proven performer, Bandara has unfortunately not got enough opportunities in the one-day team - his last international appearance was against Bangladesh in July last year. That the only other specialist spinner in the squad is an uncapped player - Ajantha Mendis - makes Bandara an automatic selection. The pitch is known to take turn, making Bandara a useful option in the middle overs.

Teams

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Sewnarine Chattergoon, 3 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 4 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 5 Runako Morton, 6 Marlon Samuels, 7 Dwayne Bravo, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Fidel Edwards, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Daren Powell.

Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Upul Tharanga, 2 Mahela Udawatte, 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 5 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 6 Chamara Silva, 7 Chamara Kapugedera, 8 Nuwan Kulasekara, 9 Thilan Thushara, 10 Chaminda Vaas, 11 Malinga Bandara.

Pitch & conditions

The surface at the Queen’s Park Oval for the second Test was tailor-made for the fast bowlers, and considering the success that West Indies had in the match, the pitch for the ODI might also be similar. Traditionally the pitch is slow and helps spinners, but since Sri Lanka prefer lack of pace, West Indies will want a track which helps fast bowlers.

Weather: The forecast is sunny, mainly clear skies with a high of 31C.

Stats & trivia

  • West Indies and Sri Lanka have played each other only six times in the Caribbean, with Sri Lanka winning four and West Indies two.
  • The previous bilateral series in the West Indies between the two was won by Sri Lanka 2-1
  • West Indies and Sri Lanka have played two matches at the Queen’s Park Oval, with both teams winning a game each. Coincidentally, the victory margin was the same - 35 runsQuotes

“There are a lot of youngsters, and what we are trying to do is develop a team for the next World Cup. We are going to try a few guys, some exciting youngsters. We want to be competitive against West Indies and see where we are in terms of our preparation for the World Cup.”
Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lankan captain

Source:Cricket News

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2008 and is filed under General, Cricket.

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