KARACHI: Sri Lanka take on India today in a match that decides if either team has a chance to go through to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Twenty20.
Even if India win, they will then hope that Australia beat West Indies to decide the two spots on net run rate. In case of a Sri Lanka win, India crash out. India started their campaign with two wins in two days before they lost to Australia and West Indies to derail their campaign. The batting has fared poorly except for one match against South Africa.
Murali Vijay, the Indian Premier League success story, has scored nine runs in three games minus his 48 against Afghanistan. His opening partner Gautam Gambhir has failed as well, making 24 in three outings and spent one match out due to injury. And MS Dhoni is aware of the batting problems. “The batting is supposed to be our strength and it hasn’t been up to expectations. The bowlers have done decently, give or take a few overs here and there,” said the concerned captain.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have problems of their own. The match against Australia exposed their over-dependence on Mahela Jayawardene after they were dismissed for 87. However, the positive from that match was the impressive performance of Muttiah Muralitharan’s replacement, Suraj Randiv.
The tall offspinner took three for 20 in his second Twenty20 international, including the wickets of David Warner, Michael Clarke and David Hussey. With India having already played a match at St Lucia earlier in the tournament, the 2007 champions might fancy their chances a bit more on a slow surface.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 11th, 2010.