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Success only balm for India's woes

india Updated: Mar 11, 2012 01:09 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times
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It was here that India kicked off their World Cup-winning campaign. A year later, four Asian Test-playing nations have converged to decide on the continent's No 1 side. Of the four, Sri Lanka look the most settled after their performance in Australia, but having played their last match Down Under only three days back, they are the most tired.

There is an unsettled look to the other three teams. Bangladesh, the hosts, are going through a crisis following the axing of Tamim Iqbal, chairman of selectors Akram Khan resigning and then both being restored, albeit after an intervention by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Even then, it is unlikely that Tamim will be a part of the XI on Sunday when the Asia Cup kicks off with the hosts taking on Pakistan at the Sher-e Bangla National Stadium.

For Pakistan, this could turn out to be a test for new coach Dav Whatmore. Having whitewashed England in the Test series in the UAE, Pakistan were outplayed in the one-day and three-match T20 series. Whatmore's first test would to bring in consistency to the team.

The Aussie's bid to instill discipline was clear as hardly any player ventured out to the hotel lobby, unlike the Sri Lankans, most of whom went out for lunch. For the Indians, who take on Sri Lanka in their first match on Tuesday, two disastrous overseas tours of England and Australia, reports of rift in the team, 'resting' of Virender Sehwag and choosing Virat Kohli as Mahendra Singh Dhoni's deputy ahead of Gautam Gambhir have evoked criticism. And skipper Dhoni knows that only winning matches can push these issues to the backseat.

Familiar sub-continent conditions provide them with the right platform. Winning here and Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 100th century would go on to add to the IPL frenzy that begins soon after.

Asia Cup schedule | Reckoner