One of the most frequently-played rivalries in recent years continues as India
face Sri Lanka in the second match of the Asia Cup on Tuesday. The two
teams have faced each other so often in the last four years that one can be forgiven
for having lost count. But the interest levels will surely be high as India begin
their title defence.
Sri Lanka enter the tournament on a rare high, having tasted notable success
on the tour to Australia. Although they lost in the best-of-three finals, their
show was worthy of applause as they eked out India and also stretched
Australia till the end.
Click for Live Score Card of India Vs Sri Lanka
However, given how Asia Cup is crammed in between the Australia tour
and home series against England, Sri Lanka have decided to rest some of their
key bowlers. Besides slow left-armer Rangana Herath, pace bowlers Dhammika Prasad
and Chanaka Welegedara have also been rested.
In their absence, the bulk of the responsibility will be shouldered by Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara. Seekkuge Prasanna and Suranga Lakmal make
a comeback into the squad. The batting duties will be led by Tillakaratne Dilshan
who was the Man of the Series in Australia. To his support, he will have Mahela
Jaywardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
India will take the field as defending champions but their recent run has left
them under immense pressure to lift their game drastically. Their miserable
tour of Australia has led to Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav being
rested with Virat Kohli being elevated to the vice-captain's role.
Sachin Tendulkar will continue the search for his elusive 100th century, with
calls growing on him to call it a day following Rahul Dravid's retirement last
week. Big-hitting Yusuf Pathan makes a comeback after missing from the
national team since the West Indies tour last year.
The day/night encounter in Mirpur is expected to be a high-scoring one as both
team possess some fluent stroke-makers while the boundaries are also relatively