India take on Sri Lanka in the fifth game of the CB series at the Adelaide Oval. With two wins from three games, India are sitting pretty as compared to their opponents, who have yet to open their account.
This makes it a vital game for Sri Lanka. Despite the longish nature of the tournament, a loss here will put them under tremendous pressure, especially given that they take on Australia in three of their remaining five matches.
The Indians will go into the match, having narrowly beaten the Aussies in a game that went right down to the wire. They will derive confidence from the fact that they chased down a score of 270 – their best total in Australia to win a game – and will hope to make it three wins in four games.
Batting has been India’s forte for years but in this series, they haven’t been at their best. It was only in the previous game that they showed signs of improving as they were helped by a 90 from Gautam Gambhir and another superb knock from the captain MS Dhoni towards the end.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka’s poor start has been because of their lacklustre batting. The top-order has been mediocre at best and with Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara not getting too many runs, the side has struggled. This has been their bane for some time now but they will feel better with the conditions at Adelaide as the ball should come on to the bat.
India should go in as favourites despite their much-renounced rotation policy but trust Sri Lanka to come back strongly through their seam bowlers.
The India v Sri Lanka match will be live on Star Cricket in India and begins at 8.50 am India time on Tuesday.