Although the Lankan pitches are the typical sub continent ones. I feel India find difficult to beat Lanka in Lanka, primarily because one of the team members plays a big role it could be a Jasuriya with bat or ball, Jayawardene, Mendis, Vaas Sanga or that old fox Murali. The only problem is Lankans find it difficult to extract best performances consistency from the core of these players. Also Indians are coming out of a winter without much match fitness or form. There last series was against Poms, which saw Yuvraj battling out the Poms, although there were major contributions from others as well.
Meanwhile, Lankans seemed to cruise through Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in a tri series in Bangladesh ands squashed Pakistan in Pakistan. But then if Indians who have played such rigorous series in last six months, are coming out of the winter then one can feel for Pakis who haven’t had much cricket for over an year. But I still consider to Lankans to win the series 3-2 but then Indians have notched up this big one making the next matches a kind of must watch. I would like credit BCCI for flexing their billion dollars muscles, and arranging this series like pulling out a wand out of thin air. We also know Sri Lankan bored isn’t exactly cash rich.
Lankans invincibility at home, precedes their usual dismal performances abroad. I don’t think Jayasuriya will last forever; Sanga is good when it comes to abroad. Jayawardene would like to emulate his home record in an away series, but I don’t see them coming. I was hoping Vandort would come good I don’t know where he is. Dilshan amuses me, he is good but I just find him amusing. There is Murali and Mendis both freaks and perhaps feared, but I see people playing Mendis better as he settles into International cricket. Needless to say he has to continuously think of new things for the times to come.
Old bloke, old tricks.
Jayasuriya hitting a century in ODI is one of the most obvious things likely to happen in an India-Lanka tie. The only thing is, this one was an exception in the sense he hit a century alright but Lanka lost courtesy maturing Gambhir, resolute Raina and piped piper Dhoni slow developing into a very good finisher of a limited overs cricket game. The best on form is Albie Morkel. He is superb. Jayasuriya has matured with age, perhaps matured and aged wonderfully well. He is Colossal in Lankan Cricket. He struck one more century obviously he had taken liking to Venky Prasad at one point in time, now it seems to be Munaf. Ishant and Zaheer are looking good. Sanga to helped in Lankan score but then there isn’t much to follow is the captain is struggling. I think he will come good in this series and if he does, the 3-2 score in favour of Lankans seems a bright possibility. But if he continues to struggle then I think Jayawardene would be praying for 11 Jayasuriya’s and Muralis playing for him.
Dhoni being the unassuming gambler that he is, ensured enough bowing practice to his non regular bowlers ensuring that out of sorts Munaf doesn’t leak much runs and Zaheer and Ishant kept Lankan score in a realistic zone.
Poor luck Sachin.
Poor Kumar Dharmsena, the umpire was so nervous in his first game that kept lost track of basic of an LBW and gave Sachin the marching orders. It wasn’t the best of starts Indians would have thought of but then Indians moved on. Sehwag not playing didn’t matter much to Raina and Gambhir. Raina provided the spark and then Gambhir got really serious and together they shared a good century stand to provide a very good platform. Yuvraj meanwhile I imagine he would struggle against the spinners, did well to reach 23 but would have loved to finish of the game. Raina and Gambhir literally followed each other to the pavilion. Dhoni and Yuvraj steadied the ship and then Dhoni in able company of Rohit Sharma sealed the win. India shined with ball and bat, while Jayawardene may first have to dwell upon his role in a team as a batsman alone, look at the fielding coz an ordinary perforamce in the field against Bangladesh and Zimababwe may not be that costly but against India may cost a match or two,like it did today.