ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

India v Sri Lanka, Final, World Cup 2011

Murali will play even with discomfort - Bayliss

ESPNcricinfo staff

March 31, 2011

Comments: 236 | Text size: A | A

Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss insists Muttiah Muralitharan will play in the World Cup final despite continued worries over his fitness. Muralitharan, who turns 39 next month, skipped practice on Thursday at the Wankhede stadium and has struggled with niggles through the course of the tournament, including a hamstring injury, a side strain, a troublesome knee and a groin issue.

There was speculation that he would be rested for the semi-final against New Zealand in a bid to allow him time to be fully fit for the final, but he played despite not being in the best physical condition. The final will be Muralitharan's last international game. "Chances are good that Murali will play," said Bayliss. "He completed 10 overs in the semi-final, and such is the character of the man that he will play even with discomfort."

The fitness of allrounder Angelo Mathews is also a worry for Sri Lanka. Veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas and offspinner Suraj Randiv are being flown in as cover for the injured pair, but Bayliss confirmed Sri Lanka had not applied to the ICC to have them included as official replacements. "We have asked for them just to be on the safe side, but Muralitharan and Mathews will be given as long as possible to prove their fitness," he said.

Muttiah Muralitharan trains the day before Sri Lanka's quarter-final match against England, Sri Lanka v England, World Cup 2011, Colombo, March 25, 2011
Muttiah Muralitharan will play through the pain barrier in order to finish his international career with a World Cup final © Getty Images

Bayliss was bullish about Sri Lanka's chances of winning a second World Cup title after their triumph in 1996, and suggested the pressure would be on India as the home team and tournament favourites. "We have played good cricket through the tournament and have done well against India in the past," he said. "The pressure will be on India since they are playing at home, but we are familiar with the conditions in Mumbai.

"If we concentrate on what we do the best then we can play some good cricket and if we play good cricket, we are going to be very difficult to beat. This match is 50-50 at this stage. Obviously, there will be a lot of pressure on India to perform at home. We have been able to do that in the last couple of games and come out with two good wins. The boys are quite confident about their chances in this World Cup.

"Yes, we have played India on a number of occasions and have beaten them before on a lot of occasions. [But] it [the final] is a difficult assignment. In the last three years, we have played 35 matches and this will be the 36th one. We have beaten them on a number of occasions. Our guys are confident we can play well and win."


Comments: 236 
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Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2011, 21:39 GMT)

First remove that vesika putha Kula in from SL squad/// Pls Add a new young and talented bowlers or expience Vasi

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2011, 18:56 GMT)

well sorry to dissapoint you...but India are the champs

Posted by Fransesca on (April 2, 2011, 10:10 GMT)

Go Sri Lanka,, We The Lions Will Win For Sure!! So,, Take That INDIANS =P,, Hope Ur Lookin' Forward To Watchin' Us Walk Away Wit The Cup

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2011, 8:33 GMT)

India will Beat Srilanka they are more balanced,Battle hardened Playing at Home desperate and Pobably more Hungrier than Srilanka.Srilankan Batting is revovle around Sangakara and both openers where as their middle and lower order are weak Ok thir attack at the moment are better than Indian who are peaking from the knock out rounds,but apart from the came against Pakistan they were not tested and even in thier game against Kiwis they were crumbling inspite ofbeing in a match winning position.

Posted by Dummy4 on (April 2, 2011, 1:26 GMT)

LOL!!! good luck indian FANS!!! lets see what happens in the end of the day!!! coz in my point of view SL will win coz we have beaten you few months back on your own soil.... :) remember... lol... so let hope that doesnt happen again for your (dats if your lucky enough) :)...

Posted by Zahina on (April 1, 2011, 22:26 GMT)

I can imagine just 10 minutes before the match ends Indian fans in desperation say " Hey Bhagwaan"

Posted by md on (April 1, 2011, 20:02 GMT)

@Cpt.Meanster. Hey boss you are 100% correct & i would like to add a point to it i.e., in last 2 yrs srilankan have won only 2 games and INDIA have won 11 games out of the 13 matches played in India. I don't know why these srilankans are getting so exicted to get embarassed at the hands of the INDIAN TEAM again and again. I wonder what would their fan say about his captain after loosing the match tommorrow may be change the captain just like the punter case.

Posted by kumar on (April 1, 2011, 17:07 GMT)

When a team says we don't have pressure then its gud but it it says we don't have pressure and whole pressure is on opposite team then definitely that team is under pressure. It is cheap trick to overcome and put pre-match pressure on opposite team. Problem with SL is they are always depserate to win against India. Till sometime I thought SL players were very professional and had good spirit but when I observed that SL players had appealed for most of the balls, for silly balls too, to put pressure on India I understood that they are very desperate to win at any cost.

Posted by RiRox on (April 1, 2011, 16:42 GMT)

What ever,,you know guys,our all rounder Chaminda Vass gonna play in finals....now who can tell,,shehwag or any one can smash our bowlers,,,, :P :P :P,, This time LIONS gonna ROAR

Posted by dammika on (April 1, 2011, 16:39 GMT)

Hey indians pls wake up, Are you dreaming about world cup? That's just only a dream. It's will belongs to the sri lanka. Gooooooooooooo Sri Lanka.

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