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India banking on flat wicket for lead

cricket Updated: Aug 23, 2008 14:47 IST

PTI
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After two horrendous outings in the low and slow Dambulla pitch, Indian batsmen will take a lot of heart from the batting-friendly wicket at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo when they take on Sri Lanka in the third cricket one-dayer in Colombo on Sunday.

Although India made heavy weather of the second ODI before scraping through by three wickets, the tourists will once again be banking on their batting prowess to seize the lead in the five-match series.

The pitch at the Premadasa Stadium is expected to be full of runs in the initial overs and India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would heave a sigh of relief as his in-form opener Gautam Gambhir has recovered fully from a stiff neck and is expected to open with Virat Kohli, who displayed a gutsy performance in the last match.

Moreover, Indian batsmen can also take some consolation from the fact that only one batsman -- Sri Lankan captain Mahela Jayawarrdene -- from either side has managed to cross half-century mark in the first two ODIs, whereas the Premadasa wicket is a traditional ODI pitch that offers runs for the batsmen and purchase for the spinners.

Another heartening news for India is that middle-order batsman Subramaniam Badrinath has been a revelation during the last match and has displayed ample maturity in his debut game to pull his side out of trouble.