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India seem ready for the kill

There will be an uncommon interest on Sunday. Not just because Sri Lanka’s chances of making it to the finals hangs in balance but the residue of the no-ball controversy will linger as well.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2010 23:55 IST
Ravi Shastri

There will be an uncommon interest on Sunday. Not just because Sri Lanka’s chances of making it to the finals hangs in balance but the residue of the no-ball controversy will linger as well.

Yuvraj looks set to return to a pitch that would have settled down considerably after a heavy bout of rain. The swanky left-hander has had a series of misfortunes recently but does retain his value in the Indian scheme of things. In all probabilities, either Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma would have to miss out Sunday’s clash.

It is Sehwag though, who remains the bogeyman for Sri Lanka and Suraj Randiv in particular has a battle in hand. He has now twice kept him on 99-all in a matter of few weeks. If the Indian dasher stays long enough at the crease, everyone would be looking for that little spark this confrontation would inevitably bring.

In my estimate, Dinesh Karthik will surely find his name in the playing eleven as well and I hope this time he steps up to the plate.

His career has had too many 20s and 30s and yet, has had more chances than most would ever dream of getting. Given the uncertainty in the middle and Yuvraj’s return after a break, the importance of openers can’t be overstated.

What would be interesting without a doubt is India’s bowling make-up. They are nearing the end of a long, often dreary campaign. It would do them no harm if they bowl with discipline and purpose and appear wiser by the experience.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, must put the recent unpleasantness behind and get on with the job. Kumar Sangakkara’s brush with Nathan MaCullum on Friday betrayed the stress that has got to him.

Normally unflappable, he seems a little out of his zone. It is a good time for India to go for the kill.