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Relieved India will be the team to beat

india Updated: Feb 14, 2012 00:49 IST
Sourav Ganguly


India must be confident after their win against Australia at Adelaide. This would remove the cobwebs from the heads of India players, who've suffered in the Test series.

It was an important knock for MS Dhoni as it is important for a captain to contribute to his team's win, as it helps him lead the side better. Dhoni was not at his best as a batsman and captain, and this game will help him come out better. He is an outstanding ODI player and his abilities are far better than his Test match performance. The way he hit that massive six is not surprising.

There has been talk of rotation and I still say it's not a bad ploy when the tournament is so long. Most of the India players have been on the road for a long time, and in a side which has kept losing, it brings mental fatigue into play and also drop in form. There are quality players in this side and this will allow Dhoni to pick players on form.

India have started well in the ODI series, and a win against Sri Lanka in the next match will push them closer to the final. Sri Lanka did come close to beating Australia at Perth but they will have to raise their game considerably to get past India.

Lot on Lanka’s mind

Sri Lanka have issues off the field which need to be settled. It's hard for a team to keep playing after not being paid for long, and this is a mental battle they have to overcome. They will need to be hungry to get past India because the current record is pretty one-sided.

They need Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene to perform. The skipper has been out of form, and after batting at No. 5 it will not be a bad idea to go up the order and play the new ball with the field up. They have a lot of batting depth. The islanders will play at Adelaide in conditions which are favourable for both teams, but India have the advantage of having played a game at the venue. What will be important for Dhoni & Co will be to as the game against Australia must have taken a lot of mental skill.

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(the writer is a former India captain)