Daijiworld Media Network
Brisbane, Feb 21: It is game number eight in the CB series and the contest is wide open. Today's match between India and Sri Lanka at Brisbane assumes a lot of importance. India's huge defeat against Australia has curtailed their momentum and they will be without their skipper MS Dhoni, who has been handed a one-match ban for a poor over rate in the previous match.
It's a setback for India in ODI No 8 to be played at Brisbane on Tueday, February 21, that in-form batsman, Indian captain MS Dhoni has to sit out. This is the second time this year that Dhoni is facing punishment from the ICC. Earlier, Dhoni was banned from playing fourth Test against Australia for slow over rate.
Tueday's ODI against Sri Lanka will be led by vice-captain Virendra Sehwag. Parthiv Patel, substitute wicket keeper in the team will be replacing Dhoni.
In the last ODI against Australia, Indian pace bowlers made too many mistakes, resulting in dozens of wide balls. This was one of the reasons for slow bowling rate. But according to ICC rules, the captain is banned if the team found guilty of slow over rates.
Sachin Tendulkar is also expected to sit out of the match against Sri Lanka for both fitness as well as reason of form. Sachin has scored only 65 runs in the three innings he has played. Gambhir and Sehwag are expected to open the innings for India.
R Ashwin who was rested in the last match against Australia will come back as India cannot afford to restrict Lanka by part time spin bowlers. Though Suresh Raina did a good job with the ball in the last match, full time spin bowler is a must for match against Lanka.
But there is strong contest in the fast bowling division. Zaheer, Irfan, Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav who played the last ODI, can't all get a chance in this match. Umesh Yadav is likely to sit out due to his poor form in the last two matches. For Vinay Kumar's good bowling, and wicket taking abilities, he might retain the spot, though he bowled poorly in the last match against Australia.
Praveen Kumar is the other fast bowler who is waiting for a chance, after an average bowling performance from him in the first two ODIs he played.
In the top order, except Gambhir all three other batsmen - Kohli, Raina and Rohit - have disappointed Indian fans by failing to impress with the bat. The average scores by these three star batsmen worry both selectos as well as the fans. Manoj Tiwari and Rahane are waiting on the bench for a chance. If Tiwari is given a chance against Rohit Sharma, it would not be a surprise.
Pitch report: It is very hot says Chappelli. There is a lot of grass, but not green grass - which means that it will be very good for batting. At night, it might help the bowlers. Bat first and make sure that the other side bakes under the hot sun. 'Very difficult chasing' signs off Chappelli.
Conditions are slightly overcast at the moment. Showers have been forecast today and one hopes that it stays away.
Sri Lanka have won the toss and elected to bat
Sehwag: I am fit and it is a honour to lead India. It is a good wicket to bat on. We need to bat, bowl and field well. In most day-night games, it is a challenge for the top order. There are three changes in the team. Zaheer, Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are out. Parthiv Patel, Ashwin and myself are back. Rohit has been rested. Everybody are getting a rest so it is better to rest the youngsters as well.
Mahela: It looks like a good wicket to bat on. We did a wonderful job in Sydney. I am confident that our seamers will do a good job. We have to be consistent with our gameplan.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardene(c), Kumar Sangakkara(w), Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thissara Perera, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Rangana Herath
India (Playing XI): Virender Sehwag(c), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel(w), Ravindra Jadeja, Irfan Pathan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav