Whitewash on the cards
The immense gap between the two sides was evident in the previous match, as India seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of Sri Lanka at the moment, writes Aravinda de Silva.india Updated: Feb 07, 2009 23:15 IST
The immense gap between the two sides was evident in the previous match, as India seem to be leaps and bounds ahead of Sri Lanka at the moment. India are currently superior in all departments of the game, and the Sri Lankans have been completely out played from the beginning. I have not seen an Indian team dominate Sri Lanka at home like this before, and the men in light blue will hold all the aces for a whitewash today.
India have followed a very clear game-plan in each of their wins, as every player is performing his role to perfection. Dhoni did a good job by promoting himself up the order last time, and the Indians can look to further experiment today, by probably sending Rohit Sharma or Yusuf Pathan at number three. Like most good one day teams, this Indian side has five world class batsman, and each of them are taking it upon themselves to put up a big score for the team. It’s Yuvraj and Sehwag one day, and Gambhir and Dhoni the next, and we may well see another Indian batsman put his hand up and get a big score for the team.
It would be an understatement to proclaim that Sri Lanka have been outclassed, and they must look to salvage whatever pride is left in game 5. There was clearly too much hype surrounding Ajantha Mendis, and far too much was expected off him. This is just his first full season in international cricket, and he needs more time to learn. The Indians are playing him very well, by either staying back, or pushing him through the offside. However, I would still like to see him play today, as it will be a great challenge bowling to in-form batsmen.
Sri Lanka's middle order has not contributed enough, and the team must come up with a new strategy for the final match. I would like to see Tharanga open the batting with Dilshan, with Jayasuriya sitting out, as this will enable the team to test the tenacity of its reserve players, to determine if they have the mettle when Jayasuriya does not get a big score.
India are firmly on course to complete a 5-0 drubbing today, and I'm sure their skipper quietly has an eye on the number 1 ODI ranking as well.