Margao, February 13:
India will square off against Sri Lanka in the third limited-overs international on Wednesday in the southwest Indian state of Goa, in hopes of leveling the four-match series.
India suffered a five-run defeat in the second one-dayer on Sunday in a thrilling last-ball finish, in the western Indian city of Rajkot. The victory boosted the morale of the Sri Lankans. The opening game of the series in Calcutta was abandoned Thursday after heavy showers disrupted play.
Sri Lanka have played impressive cricket over the past year, and captain Mahela Jayawardene said â€œa team has to really play well to beat us.â€ â€œWednesdayâ€™s match is a good challenge for us ahead of the World Cup,â€ Jayawardene told reporters in the town of Margao in Goa on Tuesday.
The Sri Lankans practiced on Tuesday without star performer Kumar Sangakkara whose scintillating 110 runs led his team to victory after a top-order slide. â€œThere is nothing serious. He just had a stomach bout and will be fine tomorrow,â€ said Jayawardene.
Indiaâ€™s team management declared middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh fit on Tuesday. However, pace bowler Irfan Pathan has not recovered from a sore shoulder, Indian captain Rahul Dravid said. Singh is eager to get back into form after his three-month absence because of a knee injury.
India decided to rest pace bowler S Sreesanth for Wednesdayâ€™s match, and legspinner Anil Kumble has opted out because of personal reasons, Dravid said. India announced its World Cup squad on Tuesday and will be leaving for the Caribbean on February 28 before it begins next month. Sri Lanka named its 15-member squad a day earlier with nine specialist batsmen, four pace bowlers and two spinners.
Jayawardene expects Wednesdayâ€™s match to be a high scoring one because of the conditions. â€œThere is not much grass on the wicket. But it looks to be a very good flat one-day wicket,â€ he said. India defeated Sri Lanka 6-1 in one-dayers during the last series in 2005.
TEAMS â€” INDIA: Rahul Dravid (captain), Sourav Ganguly, Robin Uthappa, Sachin Tendulkar,
Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Munaf Patel, Zaheer Khan and Dinesh Kartick.
SRI LANKA : Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Marvan Atapattu, Russel Arnold, Tilekaratne Dilshan, Farvez Maharoof, Upul Chandana, Chamara Silva, Malinga Bandara, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Zoysa and Nuwan Kulasekara.