India and Sri Lanka will lock horns once again, for a change in a tri-series also featuring Bangladesh. Lanka and Bangladesh will kick off the tournament at the Shere Bangla stadium in Mirpur.
While Sri Lanka have had a long and hard tour of India, Bangladesh will be fresh after a two-month break. Still, Lanka would be expected to go into the game as favourites.
This, despite the fact that they have dropped some of their seniors. Sanath Jayasuriya, Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis all will be missing from the absence in the Bangladesh, so it remains to be seen how they perform in the trio’s absence. They certainly were below par in India recently.
Bangladesh, meanwhile, will be buoyed by their 2009 record even though they were against weaker teams. But they were impressive nonetheless. The Bangladeshis will also have fond memories of their battle against the Lankans last year.
They defeated Lanka in a match and had them in dire straits in the final before they managed to recover. They will also have the home advantage so Lanka definitely cannot take them lightly anymore. The only factor that might go against the home side might be the fact they haven’t had an international outing for a while. And the Lankans must try and take advantage of that.
Sri Lanka would be hoping for the top-order to continue the great work they did in India. Tillakaratne Dilshan will be their trump card once again. However, one cannot ignore his batting partner Upul Tharanga either. The southpaw really came of age in India and will like to carry on the good form.
Ditto with skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who played some blinders in India. Unfortunately, the trio’s hard work was undone by the middle-order. And thus a lot better will be expected from the likes of Thilan Samaraweera, Thilina Kandamby while Chamara Silva gets another opportunity to cement his place.
There have been some changes in the bowling department too. Spinning all-rounder Muthumudalige Pushpakumara and left-arm seamer Thilan Thushara will support Suraj Randiv and Chanaka Welagedera.
Bangladesh too have a good bunch of talent at their disposal. In the batting department, they no longer depend only on inconsistent Mohammad Ashraful. Tamim Iqbal, skipper Shakib Al Hasan and wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim have all been making worthy contributions. That said, it will only help if Ashraful bats like an experienced hand.
Speaking of Bangladesh’s bowling, Rubel Hossain was undoubtedly one of the stars of the side last year and will be expected to continue the same in the New Year.
Among the others, spinner Abdur Razzak has been performing consistently for Bangladesh for a couple of seasons now, so they definitely don’t posses of the worst bowling attack in the world. Thus, one has got to believe that Lanka will be in for a tight contest despite being the pedigreed of the two sides.
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