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Clinical MSD will eye sweep

The Indian juggernaut is unstoppable at the moment, and if the Sri Lankans don’t raise their game, they may concede the series in Colombo on on Tuesday, writes Aravinda de Silva.

cricket Updated: Feb 03, 2009 00:10 IST

The Indian juggernaut is unstoppable at the moment, and if the Sri Lankans don’t raise their game, they may concede the series in Colombo on on Tuesday.

M.S. Dhoni and his boys seem equally confide whether batting first, or chasing down a score, and will back themselves to go 3-0 up.

The Indians are full of confidence, with every player performing his role to perfection. The young Ishant Sharma, who kept the batsman guessing with yorkers and slower balls, particularly impressed me. He seems to have matured into a world-class fast bowler, and the Indians will look for another couple of wickets off his bowling on Tuesday.

Zaheer Khan seems to be in superb form as well, and he compliments Ishant perfectly from the other end, with his left arm seam bowling.

The Indians have as good a pace line-up as any side in world cricket, and the Sri Lankans must be on their guard.

Another notable feature of this side is the captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He always seems to be one step ahead of the game, and his calm and calculated approach seems to rub off on his team-mates. Dhoni batted superbly in the first game at Dambulla and kept his cool during the Sri Lankan run chase in Colombo. He will surely have an eye on another series win in the third game.

Sri Lankan seemed to be slightly off colour, as they squandered good positions in both the games, and cannot afford a repeat on Tuesday.

They need a big effort from their senior players, particularly, captain Mahela Jayawardene, who seems to be a bit low on confidence.

I was extremely impressed with the young Thillina Kandamby, who played a blinder in the last game and nearly pulled it off for Sri Lanka.

This is further proof of the fact that there is abundant talent in Sri Lanka.

Kandamby should be pushed up the order for Tuesday’s match, as he is the in-form player and seems to have the measure of most of the Indian bowlers.

The pitch is likely to get slower as the game progresses, so batting first after winning the toss may be a safe bet for both sides.

The dew did come down heavily in the last game under lights, so a total in excess of 270 is a core requirement.