April 1, 2011

ICC World Cup 2011 - Grand Finale : India Vs Sri Lanka

Two warriors, who will emerge victorious???

   After a long journey through the world cup, the teams have arrived at the final destination where 1 team will lift the up and celebrate and other team will have just the commiserations. It is again an India - Sri Lanka encounter. Man, aren't they bored of facing each other??? They  have played exceedingly well and they thoroughly deserve their spot in the finals. Both the teams must be on a HIGH after thumping their opponents in the QF and SF. Wankhede is supposed to be a square turner and we should not be surprised if the captains fill their armory with spinners.

   They have cruised through the groups, quarters and semis. They made minced meat of Poms in the QF and ran through the Kiwis except for the glitch where they lost 4 wickets quickly. Their team overall has looked brilliant. Their openers have been setting up a great platform for the middle order. Both their batsmen have scored 350 + runs in this edition. Jaya'dene has not in form this tournament, but its highly likely that he would come to form against the Indians. Though Murali is not fit, its 100% sure that he would
 play the finals. The SL physios would try their best to get Murali back to his springing best. If Mathews doesn't recover in time for the finals. The Lankan lower order becomes more brittle, whether they opt for Perera for his batting services of Kulasekara for his better bowling skills will be a tough choice to make. Lankans have called in Randiv and the epic Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas as backup players. Maybe they are trying to bring back older players to remind Indians of the 1996 WC. Given a chance, they would even call DeSilva, J'suriya, Ranatunga et.al. Vaas, playing in for Mathews is a bluff if I can read it right. Dilhara Fernando available why look further?

   INDIA :
   For majority of the Indian Population, the world cup is all about India beating Pakistan. Now if you think it doesn't matter much what happens in the finals, you are wrong! MSD surprised everybody by playing Nehra over Ashwin against Pakistan, and luckily for him it paid off really well. It should have been a very tricky decision for MSD on who to drop to rope in Ashwin, thanks to Nehra for injuring himself  and  making it easier for MSD now. India Pakistan encounter was an alarm for the Indian batsmen, mainly the middle order barring Raina which crumbled to quality bowling. Once again MSD's form with the bat has been begging.  The opening on the other hand has been tremendous, Seh-whack and Sachin have gone after the bowlers irrespective of the opposition. Their bowling which was under a lot of pressure during the group stages, but they have stood up to the occasion in crunch situations. They have been very disciplined, their first wide was in the 37th over and no no-balls were offered to the Stanis.

Men Who Matter: 

SL - Dilshan, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Malinga, Murali 
IND - Sachin, Sehwag, Yuvraj, Zaheer, Harbhajan

Key Battles :
  • Murali Vs Sachin :
  World's best bowler to the World's best batsman. Both teams would go Full Monty to try and give the perfect swan song they truly deserve. Sadly, one of them will have to go back empty handed. Although, it is not evident that Sachin will retire for sure. He's God right? God's dont retire or go for holidays or need time off.
  • Sehwag Vs Malinga :
  We saw how Sehwag dented  one of the Pakistan's best bowler, Umar Gul. Malinga , as usual has been at his best most of the times, not giving away anything to the batsmen. This battle would be interesting to see who gets a the last laugh.
  • Dilshan Vs Zaheer :
  Dilshan is the Lankan version of Sehwag, a time bomb ready to explode. Zaheer, has been the linch pin for the Indian bowling for quite a while. Both teams will be looking to get an ideal start in the big match.

Numbers Game :
* Dilshan is the leading run getter in the world cup. Three runs more than SRT.
* SRT holds the record for most runs in world cup games - over 2000(2260).
* Sri Lanka leads India 4-2 in world cups. Last time SL bt Ind by 69 runs knocking them out of the 2007 world cup.
* Overall India leads Sri Lanka 67-50. At home India leads 28-11 over the Lankans.
* Both teams are playing in their 3rd WC finals. Winning 1 and Losing 1. Both Lost their finals to Australia in 2003 and 2007 respectively.
* Sachin averages 45.61 against the Lankans scoring close to 3000(2965) runs in 78 matches.
* Murali averages 31.25 against the Indians picking 74 wickets in 58 innings.
* Indian batsmen has notched 16 50+ scores in the tournament so far against Sri Lanka's 14 such scores.
* Sri Lankan batsmen has notched 6 100+ scores in the tournament so far against India's 5 such scores.
* Teams batting first hold the edge in Wankhede 11-6. Also, both teams lost to Australia in the WC finals chasing.

   A match that could redefine most of their lives, transform them into heroes. 100 overs to fight for anything they have dreamed for, aspired to achieve growing up. Lankans play disciplined cricket, fight hard till the last ball and have produced consistent results. Indians on the other have played crunch games and have beaten some of the top teams or gone down in the final moments. There could be no bigger stage set for the finals. Dhoni or Sangakkara both captains, both wicket keepers both have immense belief in their squads. But, the similarities must end here. As only one can emerge champion. And so is the fate of this game. Even a warrior must accept defeat with pride. Come saturday Wankhede will be a Colosseum, bull-ring, battle field all wrapped in one. Loud chants will go numb and heart beats will get loud. Whether Sri Lanka will upset a billion hearts or it is not just a mere co-incidence that the 1983 calendar and 2011 are similar?

1 comment:

  1. Watch India Vs Pakistan Live World cup 2011 final online for free at http://www.freedocast.com/channels.aspx?pn=1&order=l