ASIA CUP 2008
INDIA Vs SRI LANKA
VENUE: THE NATIONAL STADIUM, KARACHI
The battleground is ready…the captains lock horns…come tomoro and the battle begins…the fight for pride…the fight for glory…the fight to become ASIAN CHAMPS. It has all come down to this, a nerve racking final showdown between two Asian heavyweights…INDIA Vs SRI LANKA
TEAM INDIA: With their bowlers looking quite ordinary, India will rely heavily on their in-form batsmen to do the job. India’s batting line up will face a stern test in the finals although all the batsmen can switch around positions amongst the top seven and still be comfortable. Suresh Raina finally seems to be coming of age and the pair of Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, regarded as the top opening combination in world cricket today, have been absolutely devastating. Yuvraj till now has had a quite tournament but the finals will be the stage which he might want to make it his own. Skipper Dhoni has marshalled his resources quite well but the bowling department is a worry. The Indian bowlers have not made much of an impression on the batting-friendly track at the National stadium, the batsmen have made amends by chasing down big totals in the tournament so far. The script could unfold in a similar fashion in the summit showdown, though the Indians will be keen to improve their bowling and fielding to be able to counter the islanders.
TEAM LANKA: Sri Lanka is looking strong. Kumar Sangakkara has been in prolific form, having hit three centuries in five matches. Jayasuriya has also given starts that he is so well known for and if both of these were not enough Skipper Jayawardene gave all signs of him returning to form with a fifty against the Indian attack. They also have a few batsmen like Chamara Kapugedara and Tilekeratne Dilshan who can get stuck into the Indian bowling attack and be thorn in the flesh. Mendis, the highest wicket-taker in this tournament and Muralitharan are in top form and they are sure to make run scoring in the middle overs extremely painful for the Indian batsman.
THE STATS: Previously, Sri Lanka and India have met five times in the Asia Cup Final, with India having a 3-2 advantage over their opponents. Interestingly, Sri Lanka have only won the Asia Cup playing in their own backyard, so this will be something that they will be looking to change come the final at Karachi.
THE BATTLE: It promises to be a hotly-contested affair with both sides keen to stamp their authority on subcontinent cricket. The better team will take the title for sure. But with the wicket being a batsman’s paradise so far, one can expect a high-scoring affair. All we can expect is a good game of cricket. Let the best team win…The chase is then on!!!