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Trust Lanka to press on

Sri Lanka have reason to be hopeful in the one-day series. They have an excellent chance of gaining momentum in Rajkot as India are a bit disconcerted on the fitness front, writes Ravi Shastri.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2009 22:51 IST
Ravi Shastri

Sri Lanka have reason to be hopeful in the one-day series. They have an excellent chance of gaining momentum in Rajkot as India are a bit disconcerted on the fitness front. The picture on Sreesanth isn't clear and Yuvraj Singh has a dodgy little finger.

Despite the defeat in Mohali, the visitors have looked to press on in the shorter formats. Not so long ago, Sri Lanka were a formidable one-day side. Sanath Jayasuriya at the top and the likes of Muthiah Muralitharan and Lasith Malinga spearheading the bowling gave them extra teeth. They are still around, possibly not at the top of their games, but Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, backed by some good all-rounders in Angelo Matthews and Chamara Kapugedara, still make them formidable.

Possibly, Lanka were done in by uncommon sloppiness in the field in Mohali. It must be taken as a blip for among all the sub-continental teams, the Lankans still field the best. They would feel they have the measure of the bowling and so the hosts can't claim an overwhelming advantage.

India have a busy season ahead and serious work must start in earnest now. It's 14 months to the 2011 World Cup and there’ s no time to lose. India need a couple of good bowling all-rounders, death-over specialists and agile feet in the ring.

Batting, at the moment, isn't an issue. It's a massive window of opportunity for the youngsters and the selectors are keen to try them out. One-day cricket is getting spruced up with some new tactics and administrators too are planning to ring in a few changes.

Nobody wants ODIs to become useless and unappealing. Teams need to be very clear about their methods and individuals must know their roles, as well as be flexible. India are looking for the right kind of mix and hopefully it wouldn't take too long to arrive.