It will be cold comfort for India that the last of the four ODIs they’ve played at Bellerive Oval, venue for Tuesday’s clash against Sri Lanka, was also against the same.
India won that match in 2008 by seven wickets, dismissing Sri Lanka cheaply before racing to victory in the 33rd over. Their overall record at the venue is 2-all, having lost the first two games, which were against Australia and Pakistan.
There is a huge difference between the buoyant team of four years ago, when India went on to clinch the tri-series, and the current team. Sri Lanka are also the in-form team.
And if some of the past instances are any indication, the islanders certainly hold the edge as far as delivering India the knockout punch is concerned. They did it at the 2007 World Cup, in the 2008 Asia Cup final and in the 2009 World T20. But India had the last laugh at last year’s World Cup final.
For India, following their horrendous batting displays throughout the tournament, the ideal scenario would be dismissing Sri Lanka for less than 200 and chasing the target in 40 overs to earn the bonus point. But with Zaheer Khan and R Vinay Kumar struggling with injuries, it would be too much to ask of the rest of the bowlers.
Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardene, looking to keep India down, still had kind words for the rivals. “I have to feel for them. It's been a long tour, especially when you're not winning it becomes much longer,” he said.