February 4, 2008

A virtual world championship

The CB Series features the top three ODI sides in the world at the moment, playing in a format that ensures the best side will win
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Sri Lanka's bowling attack has plenty of variety, which will be the key to success in Australia © AFP

Australia is a very good place to play one-day cricket in. The wickets are very fair, and more often than not, the bat dominates. The grounds are great and so are the facilities. Having played there enriches your cricketing experience.

It can be said that sometimes the subcontinental teams struggle in Australia because of the big grounds. But it's not always the case that they don't adapt their game to the bigger grounds: even on big grounds, cricketers do hit sixes and fours. It is just a case of making sure that you do what works for you and are always in control and don't try to overdo things just because of the size of the grounds.

This series features perhaps the three best teams in the world. We know it's going to be tough. Australia and India are two very good one-day sides. We know the make-ups of their teams and the dangers that they present. We will be trying to concentrate on what we do best, and staying in control of what we do, while working hard on beating them.

The CB Series format is unique and tests the teams thoroughly. More often the most consistent side wins this tournament. You have the best-of-three finals, which means that just because you've reached the final and won one game, you are not home and dry. To win in a tournament like this, you have to perform consistently and truly be the best side throughout the whole tournament. That gives you an opportunity to showcase exactly how good you are as a team.

On the first leg of the tour of Australia late last year, we played two Tests, and then went back and played a series at home. So I don't think acclimatisation will be an issue. Coming back is not like being chucked into the unknown. We have had three practice games to play ourselves in, so it should not be too difficult for our guys to adjust.

The guys are now a lot more knowledgeable about their own games. That is particularly important if you want to do well on tours: knowing your game, fine-tuning it, and trying to improve it everyday. As a team we are just going to focus on what we are good at, the Sri Lankan brand of cricket: being aggressive and positive throughout, bowling disciplined lines and lengths, and backing it up with the best fielding performance we can muster.

Discipline with the ball will be important. Nowadays you see very few ODIs where bowling sides run through batsmen; it is very difficult to blast people out, especially with the wickets getting better by the day. The side that bowls the most disciplined lines and lengths comes out on top. You might have the best fast bowling attack in the world, but that is no guarantee that you can go out and dominate batsmen.

Our advantage is that we have a varied attack. In the past three or four years, our guys have become better at holding their own when it comes to bowling great areas. That's exactly what we are going to work on: to make sure we have the variety and the accuracy to put pressure on the opposition, and if we can do that for a longer period than the opposition, we know have a great chance of winning.

 
 
Nowadays you see very few ODIs where bowling sides run through batsmen; it is very difficult to blast people out, especially with the wickets getting better by the day. The side that bowls the most disciplined lines and lengths comes out on top
 

With the start of the one-dayers, I am back to keeping wicket, which is something I have always enjoyed. It is going to be an interesting series for me. I am pretty happy with my personal batting form, but that is hardly a guarantee for a good performance. I am just concentrating on working hard in the nets, to make sure I am confident coming out of training, and carry that confidence into the game.

We are excited to have a few new players who weren't with us for the Tests. Ishara Amerasinghe, Dilruwan Perera, Chanaka Welegedara, and Chamara Kapugedera are all promising cricketers who have not just talent but ability. They will be raring to go out and play and show what they can do.

The last time we played ODIs, we lost the series to England at home, but that is not going to bother us. This is a different situation, a different time, and we have grown out of that. We have become a better unit since then. It will be interesting to see how we measure up against these two sides. We are here to try and win the series, but we are under no illusion that it is going to be easy.

Despite the friction going on between the Indian and Australian teams, and our board also taking a stand, there was never a worry on our part about the future of the series. We knew exactly where we stood as a team. We were watching what was going on with interest. We are happy everything has been settled to a degree of satisfaction and that we are getting back to cricket, which is what all the teams are here for.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Bunny on February 5, 2008, 21:06 GMT

    Eventhough this is a ODI series, KS like a true professional rated a team by their test status. ICC Test Rankings : Aus (1), Ind (2), SL (3). So he is right. 3 best sides in the world. Also, he said "perhaps the 3 best sides in the world". & yes, absolutely true. & there is a chance for every team to win. probably the most nail biting finals would be if SL & Ind play finals, if Aussies qualify, we all know who is going to win that. It is very sad that this is the last CB Series. Just to clear some air, yes SL & Ind are star strudded, Sanath & Sachin alone share 800+ ODI's and 30,000 runs between them.

  • rohang on February 5, 2008, 16:23 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara is just giving his personal opinion when he states "This series features perhaps the three best teams in the world"

    Australia is the undisputed No1, Sri Lanka were the World Cup Finalist and India is a very fine team on par with South Africa and New Zealand I should think with players in the calibre of Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Kumble, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Sehwag(not to mention Dravid and Ganguly who are not playing in this tournament!).

    I dont understand what all this debate is about. If the strength of cricket teams are decided by rankings then we wouldnt need the world cup to crown the world chamipions!

    By the way, when have New Zealand or South Africa ever featured in a World cup final let alone win one!?

  • nk83 on February 5, 2008, 4:43 GMT

    And just to make something clear, South Africa didn't become 2nd and 3rd by JUST beating West Indies and Bangladesh; if you beat a team lower ranked than you it counts less, the more lower the more less it counts to your ranking.

  • nk83 on February 5, 2008, 4:39 GMT

    whits106, if India and Sri Lanka do have so many match winners, than how about they win some matches to really become the top 3.

  • Amila on February 5, 2008, 2:48 GMT

    I think Sanga is spot on,Even though Sri Lanka and India sitting below the three best teams according to the ICC rankings the other teams like South Africa,New Zealand and Pakisthan have had easy wins aginst slightly weeker oppositions.So I think thats a fair statement and most of us will wittness during in this tournament.I think people would be better of focusing on the amount of interest that this series has brought amoung the cricket world,these are the three teams that most of us would love to see in a triangular.

  • BigRich on February 5, 2008, 2:39 GMT

    Being from the currently ranked third best team in the world (NZ) I would like to elaborate on a few comments. I disagree with the ICC ratings of including NZ at third. Realistically you can't go past Aus, SA and SL as the best ODI teams in the world with consistency. Upset performances from other teams are mere 'flash in the pans', as was Banglesdesh beating India in the World Cup. NZ recently confirmed this was a real one off performance. I do agree that although an excellent test team that can rival Australia on its day, India with its new selection policy have a somewhat lesser ODI team now. It can't profess to being in the top three, like the test counterpart. I would also like to add comments to that presented by whits106 recently about NZ cricket. I attended a game last year where NZ achieved 350 to beat Australia. The second game in two where NZ posted 330+ to beat the Aussies and win the series 3-0, the first game by 10 wickets. NZ'ers had interest in those games all right!

  • crazystu on February 5, 2008, 2:23 GMT

    whits106 I'd like to argue that NZ deserve that number 3 ranking, of course me being a Kiwi but I somewhat think New Zealand will lose it pretty soon. They gained it from the Chappel-Hadlee series early 07, where we beat a slightly abnormal Australian side 3-0. Hey, we aren't a big nation and there aren't many of us that don't live in New Zealand so it should be expected we won't have many fans going to games outside of New Zealand. It is a shame Vettori is probably are last real world class player, seeing that Bond is now probably never going to play for NZ again. We do have some resonable bowlers, but our batsmen are pretty poor. We'd kill for a Hayden/Ponting/Hussey/Tendulkar/Dravid but we only have players like Stephen Flemming and Scott Styris.

  • Rickz on February 5, 2008, 2:19 GMT

    This tornament would have the "top 3 teamz"( Aus - SL - Ind ) even though they are spread apart in the ICC cricket rankingz. South Africa n New Zealand got beaten by India n Sri lanka in numerous accounts. Even though England bet we Lankans at home we have a better side than last time. It was good 2 see a lot of young guyz in the side like, Ishara Amerasinghe, Dilruwan Perera, Chanaka Welegedara, and Chamara Kapugedera but i would like to see Malinga Bandara in the side as a back up spinner in case Murali gets rested. Lets hope the Sri Lankanz get into the finl with india n beat Australia at their own game!

  • drneilmukherjee on February 5, 2008, 2:04 GMT

    while it may be the top 3 in the world as Kumar says, the rest of the teams put together would struggle to beat Aus. It's gonna be as exceiting a tournament as watching India, Zimb and Kenya play a series. The winner is predecided barring natural disasters and mass injury. If you're putting your cash on India or SL, I'd advise saving it for the casino.

  • eyeopener on February 5, 2008, 0:09 GMT

    Let's take a vote instead of squabbling. Assume Sri Lanka is playing Australia and assume S.Sfrica is playing Australia on the same day, same time. (virtually impossible). Which match would people prefer to watch live.

  • Bunny on February 5, 2008, 21:06 GMT

    Eventhough this is a ODI series, KS like a true professional rated a team by their test status. ICC Test Rankings : Aus (1), Ind (2), SL (3). So he is right. 3 best sides in the world. Also, he said "perhaps the 3 best sides in the world". & yes, absolutely true. & there is a chance for every team to win. probably the most nail biting finals would be if SL & Ind play finals, if Aussies qualify, we all know who is going to win that. It is very sad that this is the last CB Series. Just to clear some air, yes SL & Ind are star strudded, Sanath & Sachin alone share 800+ ODI's and 30,000 runs between them.

  • rohang on February 5, 2008, 16:23 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara is just giving his personal opinion when he states "This series features perhaps the three best teams in the world"

    Australia is the undisputed No1, Sri Lanka were the World Cup Finalist and India is a very fine team on par with South Africa and New Zealand I should think with players in the calibre of Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Kumble, Harbhajan, Zaheer, Sehwag(not to mention Dravid and Ganguly who are not playing in this tournament!).

    I dont understand what all this debate is about. If the strength of cricket teams are decided by rankings then we wouldnt need the world cup to crown the world chamipions!

    By the way, when have New Zealand or South Africa ever featured in a World cup final let alone win one!?

  • nk83 on February 5, 2008, 4:43 GMT

    And just to make something clear, South Africa didn't become 2nd and 3rd by JUST beating West Indies and Bangladesh; if you beat a team lower ranked than you it counts less, the more lower the more less it counts to your ranking.

  • nk83 on February 5, 2008, 4:39 GMT

    whits106, if India and Sri Lanka do have so many match winners, than how about they win some matches to really become the top 3.

  • Amila on February 5, 2008, 2:48 GMT

    I think Sanga is spot on,Even though Sri Lanka and India sitting below the three best teams according to the ICC rankings the other teams like South Africa,New Zealand and Pakisthan have had easy wins aginst slightly weeker oppositions.So I think thats a fair statement and most of us will wittness during in this tournament.I think people would be better of focusing on the amount of interest that this series has brought amoung the cricket world,these are the three teams that most of us would love to see in a triangular.

  • BigRich on February 5, 2008, 2:39 GMT

    Being from the currently ranked third best team in the world (NZ) I would like to elaborate on a few comments. I disagree with the ICC ratings of including NZ at third. Realistically you can't go past Aus, SA and SL as the best ODI teams in the world with consistency. Upset performances from other teams are mere 'flash in the pans', as was Banglesdesh beating India in the World Cup. NZ recently confirmed this was a real one off performance. I do agree that although an excellent test team that can rival Australia on its day, India with its new selection policy have a somewhat lesser ODI team now. It can't profess to being in the top three, like the test counterpart. I would also like to add comments to that presented by whits106 recently about NZ cricket. I attended a game last year where NZ achieved 350 to beat Australia. The second game in two where NZ posted 330+ to beat the Aussies and win the series 3-0, the first game by 10 wickets. NZ'ers had interest in those games all right!

  • crazystu on February 5, 2008, 2:23 GMT

    whits106 I'd like to argue that NZ deserve that number 3 ranking, of course me being a Kiwi but I somewhat think New Zealand will lose it pretty soon. They gained it from the Chappel-Hadlee series early 07, where we beat a slightly abnormal Australian side 3-0. Hey, we aren't a big nation and there aren't many of us that don't live in New Zealand so it should be expected we won't have many fans going to games outside of New Zealand. It is a shame Vettori is probably are last real world class player, seeing that Bond is now probably never going to play for NZ again. We do have some resonable bowlers, but our batsmen are pretty poor. We'd kill for a Hayden/Ponting/Hussey/Tendulkar/Dravid but we only have players like Stephen Flemming and Scott Styris.

  • Rickz on February 5, 2008, 2:19 GMT

    This tornament would have the "top 3 teamz"( Aus - SL - Ind ) even though they are spread apart in the ICC cricket rankingz. South Africa n New Zealand got beaten by India n Sri lanka in numerous accounts. Even though England bet we Lankans at home we have a better side than last time. It was good 2 see a lot of young guyz in the side like, Ishara Amerasinghe, Dilruwan Perera, Chanaka Welegedara, and Chamara Kapugedera but i would like to see Malinga Bandara in the side as a back up spinner in case Murali gets rested. Lets hope the Sri Lankanz get into the finl with india n beat Australia at their own game!

  • drneilmukherjee on February 5, 2008, 2:04 GMT

    while it may be the top 3 in the world as Kumar says, the rest of the teams put together would struggle to beat Aus. It's gonna be as exceiting a tournament as watching India, Zimb and Kenya play a series. The winner is predecided barring natural disasters and mass injury. If you're putting your cash on India or SL, I'd advise saving it for the casino.

  • eyeopener on February 5, 2008, 0:09 GMT

    Let's take a vote instead of squabbling. Assume Sri Lanka is playing Australia and assume S.Sfrica is playing Australia on the same day, same time. (virtually impossible). Which match would people prefer to watch live.

  • Sully_Point on February 4, 2008, 23:19 GMT

    India cant possibly be regarded as a top 3 ODI side - whatever way you look at it: - statistical ranking is 4th - failed to make it out of first round of World Cup - the 3rd ranked ODI side, NZ, has had the wood on India in ODI cricket for the past decade (of 33 games played in last ten years between the two sides, NZ has won 17, India 12, with 4 drawn)

    Nevertheless, I hope they give the Aussies a hiding in the Tri-series.

  • Natman20 on February 4, 2008, 23:05 GMT

    NZ is officially third for a reason. I would pay to watch them along with all the supporters that fill up the stadiums! When Oram, Taylor, Fulton or McCullum gets going it can be more exciting than most one day sides. Just remember who the top four were for the world cup. Remember scores NZ have chased to beat or come close to Australia in the past few seasons. "But they were playing 'b' sides" is what most say but look at who makes up the Australian squad now.

    On another note. The note on the varied Sri Lankan bowlers does make them look quite good whereas an Australian with Noffke and Johnson in it doesn't seem as threatening. Bracken and Lee are the main weapons but if they are taken to then there is not much to stop the batsmen. The Sri Lanakan bowlers look promising because there is a mixture of spin and pace with quite a bit of consistency throughout. I think this is where Sri Lanka will have the advantage over the other teams.

  • OomVetkoek on February 4, 2008, 23:02 GMT

    Sounds like a great tournament...on paper. India's selection will spoil this. India can indeed be in the top 3 if they pick a full strength team. Sri Lanka is def. right up there, batting's a bit shaky/unpredictable, but bowling prob. best in the world.

    It is sad to see the CB series go, can't we turn it into a Tri-Nations for cricket (as for rugby) and keep it. If you go on rankings AUS/NZ/SA are the best three anyway. Might as well combine Chappel-Hadlee in there (as Bledisloe Cup). Then at least SA can get some practice against AUS for next WC and not get stage fright.

  • adi23 on February 4, 2008, 22:36 GMT

    First of all, one should not go by the rankings but instead by recent form. India has been playing very well in the ODI department lately - however, the selectors have decided to test relatively new talent in the toughest of conditions against two extremely competitive teams. For all those who feel Ganguly and Dravid should have played, I agree. However, look at it from the other perspective. It is inevitable that one day, Ganguly and Dravid will retire from cricket, and then what? You will suddenly thrust new talent into the one day side? If the selectors are planning a slow transition for these new players into the side, it is wise. However, if the selectors think that this should be the permanent ODI team of India from now on, it indeed is a bad decision. Ganguly and Dravid still have a year or two left in them - the selectors should make full use of it. However, playing in Australia will mentally toughen these new "boys" and trust me, it will help them in the future. Chak De India!

  • KingOwl on February 4, 2008, 22:30 GMT

    I think it is 3 of the top 4 teams in the world, to be totally fair. SA could be one of the top 3. But SA's performance is often dependent very much on conditions (they need wickets that suit their single dimensional bolwing line up), whereas SL and India can win under different conditions. I think that is why KS suggests that these are the top three teams. NZ being in the top 4 or whatever is just a fluke! They should be at the bottom end, closer to B'desh.

  • Fahd_Falcons on February 4, 2008, 22:28 GMT

    Re: whits106

    "...who have New Zealand got that we would actually pay to see, other than Vettori?". I'm no New Zealand diehard, but I believe Scott Styris, Jacob Oram, Shane Bond (prior to the recent contract debacle) are stunning ODI players. They have performed in many the big game - Stryis World Cup 143, Oram twenty20 86, Bond hauls against Australia among others .... I think New Zealand deserve a lot more credit

  • Daiya on February 4, 2008, 22:00 GMT

    The fact that Sri Lanka reached the finals of the last world cup would mean that they are in reality the number 2 side in the world. Since then there has not been a decent tournament to test any team.

    India have proved that they are the most watched side. How do you know if Sanga was talking about the top watched, top over all or most entertaining sides??? It could have been either...or something else that he was referring to not just current rank. When a beer company advertises as being Number 1 in the world does that really mean that it is number 1 in every category imaginable?? i doubt it...so get over yourselves, perhaps it was an attention grabbing comment which seems to have worked exactly the way sanga intended it to....good luck to the lankan team.... play hard and fair

  • kiran1030 on February 4, 2008, 21:05 GMT

    T20 for India was a fluke. I dont think this Indian team can even reach the finals of the Cb series. We have the youth but not the experiance. gangulay has to be in the team

  • Edwardolonsaraldo on February 4, 2008, 21:04 GMT

    Brendan McCullum has 3 or 4 of the fastest 10 one day international half centuries. He's exciting enough. NZ have lost Cairns, McMillan, Fleming and Astle to retirement in last two years and Bond recently to Indian league. Give us a break. We are pretty good for a country of 4 million. Thankyou

  • Nippy on February 4, 2008, 20:57 GMT

    I agree completely with Kumar: the top three sides are playing in the CB series. The official ICC rankings mean nothing because if you have a look you will notice that the rankings CHANGE every now and then! The rankings are based on a team's current form. As it is only a statistical display it is not reliable. Australia won the world cup final and sri lanka were the runners up. India are the T20 champs.....so all three teams have recognition as they have all achieved something. Sri Lanka are in great form and have a few new guys in the squad which will add a little bit of spice to the team. This is what makes Sri Lanka such a great team......it as a varied line-up. Keep up the good work Kumar....we're all rooting for you!

  • Raghav24 on February 4, 2008, 20:45 GMT

    To be very fair to other teams you cannot simply state india austrialia and SL to be top when you have South Africa and Pakistan as well as NZ. To be fair, Pakistan has lost to india the final of the 2020 the last ball, lost to SA recently in the final match by one wicket. .In the last pakistan v india ODI series pak lost by 1 match. Pakistan like many top countries have had there injury problems right at the critical stages that have cost them series. look at the previous series between pakistan and sri lanka you can see that pakistan has won all the series recently for the last 5 years and not by a smal margin. Pakistan has overall beaten india more than india has beaten pakistan when they faced each other in total. If you talk about pace attack pakistan has the best on paper. With the asif, shoaib, gul, sami. Then the rising tanvir. They have top batting with: yousuf, younis, misbah, malik, butt, afridi, nazir. The SA have lost one series to austrialia which was one in last 4 yrs.

  • Ranvir on February 4, 2008, 20:14 GMT

    Given that the future of Indian cricket rests on the shoulders of young cricketers like Uthappa, R.Sharma, Yuvi, etc. but every team needs a mix of youth and experience. Dropping Dravid for the One-day series might make sense but shaking up the most profilic opening pair in the history of one-day cricket of Sachin and Saurav just doesn't add up. And that also when Saurav was in a decent one-day form. If anything, the first ODI has showed that Indians lacked experience and the youth was dominated by the experience of Aussies.

  • chin2inlondon on February 4, 2008, 20:13 GMT

    I think when Sangakara said top three sides, he said it in terms of fan following, flair and passion involved. Numbers doesn't matters here. If you still doubt check out the superstars these teams are. And talking about superstars some one mention that India has a young team and they are grooming it for the world cup. You don't live in future you live in present and you should always select the best available 11 all the time. Like Australia do. Thats why they are so consistent. By thinking you are building a team for future and scarifying the best in form batsman like Ganguly is insanity. If thats the thinking than who ever reaches 30's should be chucked out for the team because he will not be able to play for too long and if that is the case than why plan Sachin also, Ponting should retire as well as he is also in 30's and what about Jayasuria. Anyway I agree with Sangakara that the format of CB series is the best one where only the most consistent team wins.

  • Jayasinghe_D on February 4, 2008, 19:36 GMT

    Sanga, I see sri lanka making it to the top. Ausralia will be one of the top teams years to come. India will have the same problem that Aussies have now-Hard to break in to the national side, because too much talent in the tunnel. One thing we as cricketing nations need to realise, that we do not want to loose RSA, NZ, WI and such. At the end the bottom line will be like this, first need to have food on the table, place to stay and then school. So if wee loose all these nations interest in the game, I do not see much fun. Need to implement some thing to keep them in line.

    Said that; consistency will be the future for any no 1,2 or 3 and even to be 7th in ranking. I think Sri Lankas attitude towards Aussies is much of an a "partnersip with Aussies" than a rivalry. I think thats the healthiest approach. As long as poor nation like Sri Lanka build on this we'll do well in any project that we take-upon.

  • pradstarrocks on February 4, 2008, 18:43 GMT

    Spot on Kumar totally in agreement with you. Despite the differences in opinion on the rankings most people who comment on this forum are in agreement with 1 thing. Thats get the aussies out and thrash em. India v Sri lanka final would be an ideal finale for the VB series. This should be the start to the end of the aussies.. Go sri lanka.. and all the best kumar. Also Dilshan and Jayasuriya swapping positions in the batting order wouldnt be a bad idea since we need some good fast runs in the last 10 overs..

  • ashi89.t07 on February 4, 2008, 18:41 GMT

    A very well-thought and well-written article by Sangakarra.Sri Lanka are no doubt the 3rd best team in the world in ODIs,behind Australia and South Africa;because of their perfomances leading to the World Cup in the Caribbean.But India has a young and inexperienced side;it will be a test of skill and character for the players.Like Sanga has said, it will be the most consistent team that will win this series.Australia are the favourites despite retirements; and India or Sri Lanka have to reserve their best game for the finals to beat them.A lot has been said about the non-selection of ganguly and dravid but it can't be reversed and now it really is time for the young guns to express themselves freely with bat,ball and in the field.Just hope that the selectors don't again dump them if they fail;like has happened with so many previous players like Ashish Nehra,Lakshmipathy Balaji,Parthiv Patel,Tinu Yohannan,Vijay Bharadwaj etc.India or Sri Lanka please win this tournament!!

  • afridi102 on February 4, 2008, 18:39 GMT

    @whits106, south africa is a far better one day side thant india aus srilnka. India in one day in 2007:, lose 5-0 and was trashed in every match to south africa, lose to england 4-3, went out of the world cup losing to bangladesh, lost to australia, and finally won 3-2 agaisnt a worst side than them pakistan, thier only win. So are they good? i don't think so.

    I think aussies will win it, i hope they will do so just for Adam Gilchrist who is without any doubt the best Keeper-Batsman. The gap between sub continent sides and australia and south africa is too big. You can just see pollock retiring when he is topping the one day rankings of bowling and all roudners by more than 130 points more than the sconds. Where as ours players, even big players like inzamam, dravid ganguly are left out from the teams....

  • naveenkr on February 4, 2008, 18:14 GMT

    I think it is quite ordinary to call them the best one day sides in the world. The form they carry into the series is a major factor.Aussies are undoubtedly champions.Srilanka has not been in the winning streak but they were not out of their minds and have done well in the practice games also.More over they the likes of Mahela,Kumar,Sanath,Murali and Vass who are good enough to change the tone of any series in their way. India have proved they are in good touch in the recent test series and also the home series against Pakistan.Even in the One day series India played against Aus at home they played well and won critical matches and almost drew the series at Nagpur,were they finally missed out by 18 runs.Pathan,Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma form a piercing attack as the present Australian or Srilankan even though they may not be big names.And the dropping of Ganguly and Co should also inspire them to perform better they have a chance to play,which will finally help India as a team

  • Alexk400 on February 4, 2008, 17:48 GMT

    India are losing with seniors always. For me losing by 10 runs or 100 runs all same. We have to play youngesters sooner or later. Why keep delaying inevitability?. Yes india may lose initially and very badly. That is what BCCI put itself into by delaying the introduction of youth for so long. It is high time. Let the youngsters play. if they get only few chances to shocase thir skills , it won't be fair.

  • tinker on February 4, 2008, 17:45 GMT

    Sorry but i does matter, india for example are rebuilding their one day team.

    They bombed out of the WC and their record in the last few years is ordinary at best, it seems even ks has started to confuse the hype that comes out of india with fact.

  • Sreyesh_D on February 4, 2008, 17:09 GMT

    The only thing that could have made this series any better would be the inclusion of South Africa. Other than that, who ever said India and Sri Lanka are in 4 & 6, take time to notice the No's 3 & 5. NZ & Pak. Now, Look at their sides. Now, don't tell me about their whitewashes against BAN & ZIM. Those won't count. Lets go into late 2007: India Vs. Pak and Aus vs. NZ. They were both predictable. So, Kumar is absolutely right, people would pay to see these 3 fight, not Pak & NZ. Pak doesn't have Akthar, and NZ doesn't have Styris or Bond.

  • n-ch on February 4, 2008, 15:52 GMT

    o please , don't even think sri lanka has a chance of winning the CB series. i don't know why there is so much hype created when sri lanka play australia? they never even bother australia and australia wins easily. this series will be a race between india and sri lanka to reach the final and then the inevitable will happen i.e australia will win.

  • Dinesh_Ramamurthy on February 4, 2008, 15:25 GMT

    A virtual world championship? That's carrying it too far. Australia are no doubt the best ODI side, by a long, and India were shaping into a pretty good one day outfit until the Messrs. Dhoni, Vengsarkar and Yuvraj decided to adapt a "futuristic approach" to selection.

    Sri Lanka have ways to go my friend. They are very good one day outfit but by no means are among the top 3 in world.

    Sri Lankans are a formidable side at home on their slow low turners. In fact, a major factor which could be attributed to their success in the '07 World Cup was the similarity of the pitches which were on offer in the West Indies to pitches back home.

    They have a decent bowling attack but their batsmen, with the exception of Sangakkara and Jayasurya - both of them absolute class acts, look listless on overseas pitches which offer some bounce, pace and/or swing.

    All said, this should be a fascinating series but I don't think neither Sri Lanka or India have it in them to win the series.

  • Bjorn on February 4, 2008, 15:11 GMT

    I'm from Sri Lanka, and frankly Sanga is being too bold in placing us in the top three one-day sides in the world. India is a fair inclusion, they proved they are worthy opponents in the test series--which they should have won if not for the botched umpiring in the second test. Sri Lanka faired very very poorly in Australia loosing 2-0, and compared to India they are certainly below par. Experience just won't cut it anymore, and I'll be surprised if Sri Lanka win any of the matches in this series. And, Sri Lanka's chances of reaching the finals is very slim--because in reality, our batting order is not THAT tight, it has a very fragile middle order.

  • whits106 on February 4, 2008, 14:09 GMT

    Everyone is being critical of K.S. For saying India and SL are in the top three ODI teams along with Aus. Why? Official rankings shouldn't mean much. I notice someone said NZ was "officially" 3rd in the rankings, but honestly. who wants to watch NZ? I don't think their own country goes to the games do they? These are the teams everyone wants to see. They have the biggest names in World Cricket. The batting of Tendulkar, Sehwag, Ponting, Symonds, Gilchrist, Sangakkara and Jayasuria. The bowling of Murali, Vaas, Lee, and dare I say it.. Ishant Sharma. They are all match winners. And that's what makes these teams the top three. Seriously, who have New Zealand got that we would actually pay to see, other than Vettori?? Spot on Kumar, hope you write more often now!

  • CricketPissek on February 4, 2008, 13:59 GMT

    stop nit-picking on such a minor detail like "3 top teams" This should be a nice albeit long tourney. Hopefully rain won't mess it up! Goodluck Kumar, to you and the boys. Play to the best of your potential, and you know we can beat anyone. We almost did it the last time we were there, maybe we can go all the way this time.

  • Rumour on February 4, 2008, 13:46 GMT

    What absolute BULL.... The CB Series features the top three ODI sides in the world at the moment --- In actual fact the CB series will festure the number 1, 4 and 6 in the world. Consider that there is only 7 teams in the world that can be described as anything near decent, and you'll realise that you have to be pretty poor to be ranked 6th in the world. No where near top 3

  • Parth_Pala on February 4, 2008, 13:43 GMT

    Just for the record India is in the top three. India beat England 5-1 at home. Lost 4-3 away. We beat South Africa 2-1 in Ireland, but lost to them 4-0 in SA, tied 2-2 in India. India beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka 4-1 and at home 5-0. They also beat Pakistan at home. Only lost to Australia. So according to these statistics bar World Cup fiasco, it should be Sri Lanka put under the microscope not India. Having said that this current lineup the one that won 20/20, after this series will gain a lot of experience and it should show in matches to come. Let's see what happens.

  • -Hilal- on February 4, 2008, 13:34 GMT

    When Kumar stated the top 3 teams he states his professional opinion as the World's no.1 ranked batsman at the moment (ICC Test rankings).

    We can choose to argue if South Africa is more dominant having played a weak West Indies or resort to the ICC rankings which shows NZ at 3 after beating Bangladesh! Sri Lanka has overawed SA and NZ in recent times so I would go with Kumar's professional opinion and take into account other valid points he raises without being fixated on just the one.

  • rgom on February 4, 2008, 12:48 GMT

    Lot of people object to Sangakkara's saying that Aus, Ind and SL are the three best teams. ICC rankings mean nothing. Check out the bookie sites for odds on the next world cup; the bookies are the ones who put their money where their mouths are.

  • Ryanbrew on February 4, 2008, 12:35 GMT

    Sorry Sangakara, but you have to wake up. You and and India are a loooooong way off being in the top 3 sides in the world. The top 2 are Australia(130 points) and South Africa (RSA only trail AUS by 3 points for the top spot on 127.)

    Sri Lanka (108) are a good 19 points behind RSA and India (110) are 17 Points behind. This is a competition involving the 1st, 4th and 6th teams in the world! (Sri Lanka are 6th by the way!)

  • digital_blasphemy on February 4, 2008, 12:34 GMT

    A lot has been said about the Indian team selection (read non selection of senior guys),but the fact that beholds is that they are the future of Indian cricket and as dhoni pointed out - the most probable world cup 2011 team.Its high time the likes of gambhir, uthappa, rohit sharma, manoj tiwary and others overcome the shadows of uncertainity and try to prove their worth at the most challenging grounds - australia. A piece of advise for our ex-cricketers (Mr.Tony Grieg can include himself though)- stop pressurising these young guns by your out of the world comments - let them prove their worth. I know things cannot change overnight, but then its wise to repose our faith on them rather turning back and again to the issue of including seniors.

  • GB_Cricket on February 4, 2008, 12:24 GMT

    To be fair, I think India is the weakest link in this series. When Aus and SL are playing their full strength teams, India is relatively young and unexperienced team. Among the players from first ODI Gambhir, Uthappa, Rohit Sharma, Tiwary & Ishant Sharma are still new to intl cricket. Even main strike bowlers Irfan Pathan who is trying to regain his form and Shreesanth, just back from an injury are not very experienced in facing the pressure. India will hugely depend on Sachin Tendulkar to perform well. Inclusion of Ganguly and Dravid would defnitely have helped India to maintain the balance. Dravid is still as fit and agile as he ever has been and Ganguly is one of the greatest ODI batsmen plus a good utility bowler. Indian selectors should take a cue from Aus and SL who still heavily rely on players in their mid-thirties. Guys like Hayden, Ponting, Gilchrist, Hussey, Symonds, Lee, Murali, Jayasurya, Vaas etc are all in wrong side of thirties but are the pillars of their team.

  • vikrantw1 on February 4, 2008, 12:08 GMT

    Would dearly love to believe that India is among the top 3 ODI teams in the world. Nope - while we are the T20 champions ( Friday walloping nothwithstanding) - and with the current batting line up and a fit pace attack) competitive against any test side anywhere in the world - in the case of ODIs we are in the second rung - the first rung would be Australia, SL and SA - so Sangakarra is really being very generous here. I do not see us making it to the finals of this tri-series - would have had a chance if we could have Zaheer and R P Singh - fit along with Yuvraj. But this is a team that comprises of players who are either too raw or a little jaded from being on a long foreign tour that has already demanded a lot from them - in that amazing test series I would even suggest they rest Sachin- he is playing so well - and I would rather have him fully fit for the matches against SA and then the home series against Australia - so we can beat them both and then be number one in Tests

  • The_other_side on February 4, 2008, 12:00 GMT

    Well, India on recent form (Loss to England, Australia and World cup performance)may not be in top three. However the selectors have to be commended for a brave selection as playing in Australia can differentiate boys from men. Few things to note that can improve India's rating are: However bad seniors may feel, hold on to youngsters for ODIs. The fact of the matter here is the seniors in all probability are not available for 2011, and quitting ODIs will prevent injuries and prolong their test careers thus maintains India test rating. Rotation policy for all fast bowlers thus maintaining effectivity of bowling attack can help India to win consistently

  • JeyT on February 4, 2008, 11:59 GMT

    Sri Lanka are not in the top 3 in ODI cricket! You can't lose a home series to England and claim yourselves to be a cricketing power. As for the Sri Lankan batting line-up, the lack of consistency sums it up. There are a number of fringe players in that line-up, however, none match the prowess and panache in the likes of Gilchrist, Symonds, Ponting for Australia or Tendulkar, Yuvraj, Dhoni for India. Sri Lankan batting is top-strong however early wickets leave a very frail middle order exposed and I won't be surprised if Sri Lanka scores less than 100 runs in one or two ODIs. As for the bowling, a lot depends on the ever so dependable Vaas and Malinga. If they fail to take early wickets then expect a 300+ score from the opposition. As for Murali, with all due respect, he is a king is spinning conditions, however he is not in the same mould as Shane Warne and will not be a star in this tournament. Good luck Sri Lanka!

  • snaren777 on February 4, 2008, 11:55 GMT

    Its indeed really sad to see ganguly being dropped from ODI side. Guess the selectors forgot the starts that Sachin and Sourav gave in the last few ODIs were instrumental in India winning or getting beaten by a less margin. Bringing in Gambhir makes little sense cos he doesnt seem to make a notable impact on any of the games. Agreed that he has been scoring tons of runs in the domestic curcuit but seeing him bat you dont get a confidence that he is going to win the match for you. And the middle order cant get more fragile than this. You have one freshman walking after another to the crease. Am not sure if they will be able to handle the guiles of murali nor the variations of hogg who was taken to the cleaners by the indian pros in the test series. It did have been more stable had atleast either dravid or ganguly been there in the squad. Anyways the past is past and all we can hope for is the young guns to fire and that too as Sanga mentioned consistently

  • cric_craze on February 4, 2008, 11:50 GMT

    Indian Selectors along with Indian captian Dhoni made Indian team Virtually out of the tournamemt in wat is calling a Virtual world champion ship.from the performances of Twenty20 and first ODI Selectors should a fair selection of combination of Seniors and Juniors for the rest of the series.

  • rushy on February 4, 2008, 11:49 GMT

    Yet another meaningful article Mr. Sangakkara. As for the Sri Lankan team - whether one likes it or not - they are the second best team in the world, if we go by world cup results. But as Sanga says India is working hard at improving to hide the embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Bangladeshis!

  • Shukry on February 4, 2008, 11:40 GMT

    Actually what sanga has said feels absolutely spot on! But one thing to argue is how can India be one of the best three sides? Because apart from winning at home they have rarely won away! And after playing for more than two months in Australia they struggle with bounce! I hope that CB series finals will be Aus-Lanka!

  • Ashutosh on February 4, 2008, 10:38 GMT

    Very suprising to read Kumar S labelling SL & Ind among d top 3 ODI teams in the world. Surely Graeme Smith would've something to say on this ! India has gone into a seriously premature rebuilding stage, thanx to the selectors. Blinded by the T20 triumph, wholesale changes have been made to the squad & the kids play as if they can win by just turning up on the field. India won the Perth test with a proper batting lineup with Dravid performing at his own position. Wish they had shown more respect to their best batsmen at the start of the Test series instead of shifting him to accommodate a 'star'. More than Tendulkar, this ODI lineup of strokemakers needs Dravid at 3, around whom others can bat & build partnerships. The selectors also need to take an objective view on the inclusion of Harbhajan, Uthappa, Rohit Sharma & Gambhir based solely on the value of their performances to the team. Here's wishing the 'boys'emerge unscathed from the hammering they're sure to get.

  • bijusportsfan on February 4, 2008, 10:19 GMT

    I think what Sangakkara meant was these three are among the top one day teams in the world. Sl are the runners up in the last world cup and India are the champions of 20-20 (I know these are two entirely different formats)and most of their players are from that team. Having said this I dont think india is a very good team as the new comers are young alright but lack experience in 50 over games. They were good in 20-29 but how they good are they in maintaining that form for 50 overs, only time will tell. I was quite surprised by the dropping of Ganguly but looking back I think his lack of performance in test series must have aided in that decision and the same with dravid. Dravid has not been performing for a while and their fielding is hardly inspirational either. I dont understand why people jump at tendulkar at every instance. What has he done wrong this time (like every other time)? IS it a crime to notch up 2 magnificent centuries against the best side in the world.

  • Nizraanj on February 4, 2008, 10:15 GMT

    Kumar is awesome! Perfect Cricketing Ambassador! All should take him as a prime exapmle. Hope the tournament will be competitive & interesting and let it be a Sri Lanka - Australia Final! This time we can extract revenge for WC Final. As mentioned before, India without Dravid and Ganguly are a side without a backbone. Influx of youth is necessay, but it must be done gradually, suddenly throwing them in the deep end will do No good for India. All the BEST to the 3 teams, May The BEST WIN!

  • 158notout on February 4, 2008, 9:53 GMT

    Technically, according to the ICC rankings, the top 3 ODI sides in the world are Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, so KS is a bit inaccurate here. One could make a case for SL as they made the World Cup final, but to put India in the top 3 ODI sides is very wrong, they lost their series in England and then lost their series at home to Australia, only a tight series win against Pakistan lifting their morale. They are also a team in transition, with a lot of new faces. Others have mourned the loss of Dravid and Ganguly but I think it is a positive step. I question Dhoni's captaincy but they have time to get it right. They need that time however so in this tournament the finals will be Aus vs. SL.

  • arakelov on February 4, 2008, 9:30 GMT

    I do not agree with your views that it is going to be anything close to a world championship. moreover sri lanka and India do not comprise the top 3 odi sides in the world. India is a very good test side next only to Australia, but in the odis they are nurturing a very young side and have along way to go. But I still think that India will be playing Australia in the finals. Jayawardene and co are proven match winners only in the subcontinent, the moment they walk out of familiar conditions they are very vulnerable. Esp SL bowling arsenal is utterly ineffective in alien conditions. Indians showed they could turn around the tabels in alein conditions (for instance in perth, kingsmead etc). Sl much spoken bowling attack could not even bowl Australia out once in the recently concluded test series. Barring Sanagakara they have no real class in their batting order, I mean people who could be copmpared to the likes of Hayden, Ponting or Sachin for instance.

  • Rajinder_Bala on February 4, 2008, 8:15 GMT

    HEY KUMAR,first of all got to tell you that you are a great personality and a wonderful batsmen. I think the CB series will be a really close contest.All three teams have a very balanced side with lots of variety. I hope Tharanga won't fail with the bat, because if he scores, it lessens the pressure of Jayasuriya.I think Dravid should have been included in the Indian side; he would have really been a solid and dependable batsmen for India in the middle order. Anyway looking forward to an awesome tournament!

  • tinker on February 4, 2008, 8:06 GMT

    Im sorry but i don't understand this article.

    India are an average one day team who couldn't even beat Bangladesh at the world cup, how does that make them better than south africa?

    In fact how are sri lanka better than south africa?

    Australia are light years ahead of the rest(3 straight wc wins and a dominant winning % over the last 5 years) but south africa are surely the best of the rest with teams like sri lanka closing on them.

  • bigb4u on February 4, 2008, 7:55 GMT

    India dont deserve a place in this tournament but they are there only because of media value and sponsorships. i sincerely hope that they get kicked out without a win. in aus nofke and david hussy 31are debutants at 30 haddin 30 and hussey 34 are juniors in india dravid a proven winner is too old kaif at 26 is a discarded thing of past jayasurya is young enough for sri lanka and donies boys are 112 for 6 in a 50 over game

  • Dayanand0807 on February 4, 2008, 7:38 GMT

    This is going to be one of the toughest one day series for India. As they have left out Ganguly who had performed magnificiently after his come back into the Indian team,it is going to be a difficult task for Sehwag or Gambhir to give a good start for India with Sachin Tendulkar. Indian batting will also experience the abscence of Rahul Dravid in the middle order. I think Australia and Srilanka are going to make their way to finals easily.

  • Foxawan on February 4, 2008, 7:32 GMT

    Pathetic is a bad word for the indian batting line up. Why wasn't Tendulkar dropped out? If it was a mixture of an older batsman and young blood, i think the batsman would have a great deal to learn from dravid as well as ganguly. The only reason they can't drop tendulkar is because of the huge amount of SPONSORS he brings with him. Its sad. Ganguly, who has been playing superbly doesn't get to show off his excellent record in ONe-day format. Sad indeed. As far as the Series is concerned, Australia is still coming to terms with their new line up and will eventually lose a few matches along the way but Sri Lanka are more on the role then the indians, as they have a better mixture of youth and experiance. On a given day, they have four match winners, india, well considering Tendulkar (not many matches won by him) have only one or two. Australia....well another story! So CB series, this is going to be great!

  • Kashyap_DADA on February 4, 2008, 7:31 GMT

    India will not make it to the final becuase Dhoni is Indian Team captain. He foolishly opted out THE WALL and DADA. He does not have half the caliber of Dravid or DADA. Dhoni is worth playing only in Sub Continent. He should be dropped and Karthik should be made as Wicket Keeper and Dravid and DADA should be brougth in , to save India from dis-grace.

  • berenger on February 4, 2008, 7:22 GMT

    I think The finel will be sri lanka & india b'couse net run rate will come to play, since we have a result from the first game.definitly Australiya going to be tough to handle,but asian guyes are with courage to win the tounament.

  • 1994 on February 4, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    I predict, and hope for an Australian victory due to the fact that Adam Gilchrist is retiring. I think that the finals will be Australia vs. Sri Lanka. I tick off India because of their pathetic decision of leaving out Dravid and Ganguly. They are both senior players and central to the Indian line-up. Without them, India have lost 2 proven match winners. In any case, the Indian line-uo without them is fragile and pathetic. I hope the 2 retire after this series so that India can seriously mourn their loss.

    Lee will be the best fast bowler with Muralitharan close behind.

    Long Live Gilly

  • leeandtait on February 4, 2008, 6:23 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara is who cricketers from India and Australia should try to emulate. Classy, graceful, skillful, fair and competitive. He will bring back some class to a summer ruined by over-paid, spoilt and selfish cricketers and administrators. Good luck to Kumar.

  • Ricoza on February 4, 2008, 6:23 GMT

    The 3 best sides in the world? You´ve got to be joking mate. How about 3 of the best 6. South Africa are only about 3 points behind Australia in the rankings, almost 20 points ahead of Sri Lanka. Even New Zealand and Pakistan are ranked higher than Sri Lanka.

  • Zahran_F on February 4, 2008, 6:17 GMT

    It's going be one hell of a series. The weakness all three teams seem to have is the consistency of their openers (assuming Hayden does not play). No doubt the middle order of each of these teams is very strong. I think the team with the most consistent opening pair will win it. Hope it will be Sri Lanka who wins it (which we nearly did last time) and you score lots of runs !!

  • Desy on February 4, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    A one-day series down under is always exciting and promises great cricket. Team Australia will have the definite advantage playing at home, and will be looking to bid farewell to Adam Gilchrist in a special manner. Their side is well balanced with the return of Hayden and Stuart Clark. Team India has more or less the same strenghts and this series will show if their young fast bowlers are up to the task, which would be one of the main factors in their success. Team Sri Lanka is also a well balanced side. But how consistant will their top order be? if SL can get this together they will be hard to beat with the experienced bowling attack to back them up. Team Australia will be favourites to win, as always, but if the Asian sides pull their act together we might be in for a cracker series.

  • pride123 on February 4, 2008, 5:36 GMT

    Good on ya Kumar. You have a top attitude and work ethic so from this Aussie you have nothing but respect. Hope all goes well for you in the CB series and you score plenty of runs, my son just wanted to add that make sure you score those runs against India and not Australia...lol. Cheers Champ.

  • sAiyAnstAr on February 4, 2008, 5:33 GMT

    Sri Lanka will prove to be the winner in this tournament.

    I believe that the batting has improved from both the sub-continent teams (as we saw Sangakkara and Jayawardene get some runs in the test matches and more recently Tendulkar and Sehwag play aggressively and effectively in the test matches, which I believe should have been a 2-2 draw), and the bowlers have adapted well to the Aussie conditions.

    I think this will be a 3-horse race and, as we saw in Perth, Australia can no longer feel that bounce will cause these 2 other teams issues.

    But going on form, players, and the sheer-determination to win, Sri Lanka will win the CB tournament against Australia 2-1 winning in Melbourne in front of (what will seem to be) the home fans.

  • Hitesh_DeVilliers on February 4, 2008, 3:47 GMT

    The CB series triangular format probably could not end with better teams playing the final edition.They all are consistently good one-day sides and will have some of the best players on display in this series.Sri Lanka are definitely going to be tough to beat and i think they have a good chance considering they played here in the 2005/06 edition.The aussie line up hasn't changed much since then so they will have a good idea on their strategies.Sri Lanka also has the right balance of experience and youth and they also have Murali who will be a key player for them.It's a great opinion by Kumar and I think he is spot on.It will definitely be an exciting series and I won't be surprised to see if Sri Lanka or India can repeat what England did here in the finals last year.

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  • Hitesh_DeVilliers on February 4, 2008, 3:47 GMT

    The CB series triangular format probably could not end with better teams playing the final edition.They all are consistently good one-day sides and will have some of the best players on display in this series.Sri Lanka are definitely going to be tough to beat and i think they have a good chance considering they played here in the 2005/06 edition.The aussie line up hasn't changed much since then so they will have a good idea on their strategies.Sri Lanka also has the right balance of experience and youth and they also have Murali who will be a key player for them.It's a great opinion by Kumar and I think he is spot on.It will definitely be an exciting series and I won't be surprised to see if Sri Lanka or India can repeat what England did here in the finals last year.

  • sAiyAnstAr on February 4, 2008, 5:33 GMT

    Sri Lanka will prove to be the winner in this tournament.

    I believe that the batting has improved from both the sub-continent teams (as we saw Sangakkara and Jayawardene get some runs in the test matches and more recently Tendulkar and Sehwag play aggressively and effectively in the test matches, which I believe should have been a 2-2 draw), and the bowlers have adapted well to the Aussie conditions.

    I think this will be a 3-horse race and, as we saw in Perth, Australia can no longer feel that bounce will cause these 2 other teams issues.

    But going on form, players, and the sheer-determination to win, Sri Lanka will win the CB tournament against Australia 2-1 winning in Melbourne in front of (what will seem to be) the home fans.

  • pride123 on February 4, 2008, 5:36 GMT

    Good on ya Kumar. You have a top attitude and work ethic so from this Aussie you have nothing but respect. Hope all goes well for you in the CB series and you score plenty of runs, my son just wanted to add that make sure you score those runs against India and not Australia...lol. Cheers Champ.

  • Desy on February 4, 2008, 6:06 GMT

    A one-day series down under is always exciting and promises great cricket. Team Australia will have the definite advantage playing at home, and will be looking to bid farewell to Adam Gilchrist in a special manner. Their side is well balanced with the return of Hayden and Stuart Clark. Team India has more or less the same strenghts and this series will show if their young fast bowlers are up to the task, which would be one of the main factors in their success. Team Sri Lanka is also a well balanced side. But how consistant will their top order be? if SL can get this together they will be hard to beat with the experienced bowling attack to back them up. Team Australia will be favourites to win, as always, but if the Asian sides pull their act together we might be in for a cracker series.

  • Zahran_F on February 4, 2008, 6:17 GMT

    It's going be one hell of a series. The weakness all three teams seem to have is the consistency of their openers (assuming Hayden does not play). No doubt the middle order of each of these teams is very strong. I think the team with the most consistent opening pair will win it. Hope it will be Sri Lanka who wins it (which we nearly did last time) and you score lots of runs !!

  • Ricoza on February 4, 2008, 6:23 GMT

    The 3 best sides in the world? You´ve got to be joking mate. How about 3 of the best 6. South Africa are only about 3 points behind Australia in the rankings, almost 20 points ahead of Sri Lanka. Even New Zealand and Pakistan are ranked higher than Sri Lanka.

  • leeandtait on February 4, 2008, 6:23 GMT

    Kumar Sangakkara is who cricketers from India and Australia should try to emulate. Classy, graceful, skillful, fair and competitive. He will bring back some class to a summer ruined by over-paid, spoilt and selfish cricketers and administrators. Good luck to Kumar.

  • 1994 on February 4, 2008, 6:24 GMT

    I predict, and hope for an Australian victory due to the fact that Adam Gilchrist is retiring. I think that the finals will be Australia vs. Sri Lanka. I tick off India because of their pathetic decision of leaving out Dravid and Ganguly. They are both senior players and central to the Indian line-up. Without them, India have lost 2 proven match winners. In any case, the Indian line-uo without them is fragile and pathetic. I hope the 2 retire after this series so that India can seriously mourn their loss.

    Lee will be the best fast bowler with Muralitharan close behind.

    Long Live Gilly

  • berenger on February 4, 2008, 7:22 GMT

    I think The finel will be sri lanka & india b'couse net run rate will come to play, since we have a result from the first game.definitly Australiya going to be tough to handle,but asian guyes are with courage to win the tounament.

  • Kashyap_DADA on February 4, 2008, 7:31 GMT

    India will not make it to the final becuase Dhoni is Indian Team captain. He foolishly opted out THE WALL and DADA. He does not have half the caliber of Dravid or DADA. Dhoni is worth playing only in Sub Continent. He should be dropped and Karthik should be made as Wicket Keeper and Dravid and DADA should be brougth in , to save India from dis-grace.