- Sri Lanka plays defending champions India at The Oval today. The second match for both teams will decide their fate
- If India wins it will be the second team to qualify for the semi-finals and Sri Lanka will be out of the tournament
- Sri Lanka need to show aggression against India even if they do not stand much of a chance of winning
Sri Lanka plays defending champions India at The Oval today. The second match for both teams will decide their fate. If India wins it will be the second team to qualify for the semi-finals and Sri Lanka will be out of the tournament. And if Sri Lanka wins it will keep them relevant in the tournament.
Sri Lanka practiced first at The Oval. The team looked downbeat and with good reason. Opener Upul Tharanga, who is also the stand-in captain for the injured Angelo Mathews, was handed a two-match ban for slow over-rate. Middle-order batsman Chamara Kapugedera will probably be ruled out after injuring himself during the practice. Sri Lanka also faces a must-win situation after losing to South Africa in their first match.
Sri Lanka will depend on young wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella to score the big runs. England’s weather has played a major factor in the matches. Two matches were decided using the Duckworth-Lewis method. If the number of overs to be played comes down, Lasith Malinga could trouble Indian batsmen.
The Indian team, on the other hand, looked optimistic during their practice. A brilliant display of batting from the top order saw them winning the first match against Pakistan. They might continue with the same set of players. And the fact that after a long time the Indian bowlers, especially the pacers, have gained equal importance is reassuring.
However, the Indian team needs to keep their focus and not slack off post the 124-run win against Pakistan. The team also needs to strengthen their fielding. A couple of missed run outs and dropped catches in the previous match have been worrisome.
Sri Lanka, as former captain Kumara Sangakkara mentioned in his column for the ICC, need to show aggression against India even if they do not stand much of a chance of winning.
India, on the other hand, will be relieved if they win this match since it guarantees a spot in the semi-finals.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:38 PM IST