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The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran
July 9, 2013
Match factsTuesday, July 9
Even in a tournament as short as this tri-series, there's time for plenty of twists and turns. Five days ago, West Indies were on top with two wins in two games, and seemed to be cruising to the finals. Instead, after two consecutive losses, they will spend Tuesday anxiously tracking the final league game, cheering Sri Lanka on against India. A defeat for India will send both Sri Lanka and West Indies through to the final.
Sri Lanka, after their 39-run rain-influenced victory over the home side, are the best placed of the three teams. Even with a game in hand, they have a share of the top spot and their run-rate is robust thanks to their 161-run thrashing of India last week. Unless they have an absolute horror outing today and lose by something in the range of 210 runs, they will be in the final.
India are currently the laggards, but a victory will almost certainly take them into the final at the expense of West Indies. For a target below 321, India can win off the last ball and still get their net run-rate above that of West Indies. For larger targets, India will need to win with a few deliveries to spare (or by a margin of a handful of runs).
Rain is expected in Port-of-Spain on Tuesday, however, and though there is a reserve day, in the event the match is washed out, India will be eliminated.
Form guide(most recent first, last five completed matches)
In the spotlightIndian fans haven't quite warmed up to a tournament which came so quickly on the heels of a triumphant Champions Trophy, but their interest will have been stoked by the prospect of watching the man widely tipped to be India's next leader, Virat Kohli, taking charge. While he has matured rapidly in the past couple of years, his early reputation of being a hothead hasn't been completed wiped out. An early challenge will be to deal with the fallout of an on-field tiff between Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina, images of which have dominated cricket news in India over the past few days.
Dinesh Chandimal may have been promoted to the Sri Lankan vice-captaincy but his one-day record over the past year has been mediocre - just one half-century and seven single-digit scores in 15 innings. With Kumar Sangakkara keeping wicket, Chandimal is playing as a specialist batsman, and will need better numbers if he wants to keep other contenders at bay.
After their previous game stretched over two days, Sri Lanka will be playing on a third consecutive day. There might have been a temptation to give their spearhead Lasith Malinga a rest, but with Nuwan Kulasekara dislocating the ring finger of his left hand against West Indies, they are likely to play Malinga. With Kulasekara out for seven to ten days, Sri Lanka called up medium-pacer Suranga Lakmal as a replacement. Lakmal won't arrive in time for the game against India, but should be in Trinidad for the final.
Sri Lanka, surprisingly, left out Rangana Herath against West Indies and it remains to be seen whether they continue with Sachithra Senanayake as the lead spinner.
Sri Lanka (probable) 1 Mahela Jayawardene, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Kumar Sangakkara (wk), 4 Dinesh Chandimal, 5 Angelo Mathews (capt), 6 Lahiru Thirimanne, 7 Jeevan Mendis, 8 Dilhara Lokuhettige, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Sachithra Senanayake, 11 Shaminda Eranga
India are likely to go in with the same combination that gave them a thumping 102-run win over West Indies on Friday.
India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 M Vijay, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav
Stats and trivia
Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
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