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Many queries, few answers

Sri Lanka have a chance to bounce back in Colombo but their biggest worry is the spinners. Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan were the toast of the attack last year. Now the Indians sense a kill while squaring up to them, writes Ravi Shastri.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2009 23:58 IST

Sri Lanka have a chance to bounce back in Colombo but their biggest worry is the spinners. Ajantha Mendis and Muttiah Muralitharan were the toast of the attack last year. Now the Indians sense a kill while squaring up to them.

Both are class spinners and Murali's longevity and durability is without question.

However, it’s also a fact that lately he hasn’t been successful against the Indians. He took wickets for plenty last year but in the first game at Dambulla, he conceded 52 runs for a solitary scalp.

Mendis didn’t pick a single wicket and the two spinners went for 92 runs for scant reward and this hurt Sri Lanka badly. Unless the new ball bowlers do their job, Sri Lanka won’t be able to pull through with the spinners alone.

Unfortunately for them, Gautam Gambhir is intent on making every innings count. He is in terrific form and even though he had his luck on Wednesday, his presence had an assuring allure to it. Suresh Raina is another youngster who wants to make the number three spot his own and this is working to India’s advantage.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni seems to cherish the job of being a finisher against the Lankans.

In Rohit Sharma, you have have one of the best young players in the world. The Sri Lankans have many questions confronting them, but few answers.

It must be a worry that even though Sanath Jayasuriya remains effervescent as always, the others are not pitching in.

Bulwarks like Mahela Jayawardene and Kumara Sangakkara must play big knocks if the hosts are to put up a big score to worry the visitors.

Dhoni had mentioned about the dew factor in day-night matches but we must remember that these are dry months in Sri Lanka and how much role the dew will play is questionable.

We saw in Dambulla that the pitch didn’t have a devil in it. It played steady and there wasn’t any overt help to the seamers in the initial overs.

With wickets unlikely to be a big influence, the batting might of the two sides will have deciding roles to play.

(TCM)