Sri Lanka totters with injury-hit team
CRICKET: NEW DELHI - Sri Lankan team is hit by a series of injuries
and many players would have to take a fitness test this morning before
the final XI could be named for the fifth and final one-day match played
here today with India already wining the series 3-1.
Team Manager said that injuries to players are worrying them and
naming the team would be delayed due to this factor.
Sri Lanka sought replacements for Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah
Muralitharan, Angelo Mathews, Thilan Thushara and Chanaka Welegedara.
Skipper Sangakkara also said that the team had been having injury
problems forcing them to replace players every match. “This makes it
tough for us to concentrate with the same side,” he said.
He was very harsh on the Lankan bowling outfit and said that they
were not good enough to defend a match winning total. He made this
accusation after centuries from Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir helped
India beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets in Kolkata and take an
unassailable 3-1 lead in the ODI series. “They could not maintain line
and length and erred far too much giving opportunity for the batsmen to
make strokes,” he said.
“It was disappointing to score what would have been a match winning
total and then lose even after making two early break through.” India
was 23 for 1 with both openers Shewag and Tendulkar out cheaply.
Opener Upul Tharanga struck his seventh century (118) and shared an
entertaining 126-run third-wicket stand with skipper Kumar Sangakkara
(60). “Upul Tharanga batted well and took off pressure from the lower
order batsmen while Suraj Randiv and Suranga Lakmal bowled well.
If you look at our attack, our best bowlers have been debutantes. But
for the fourth game it was not enough,” he lamented. Experienced bowler
Lasith Malinga continued his disappointing performance by giving away 75
runs in 9 overs and going wicket less while Jayasuriya who only made 15
could not make up from the bowling as well giving away 42 in 7 overs.
Malinga in the third ODI match in Cuttack too went wicket less for 56
runs. Gautam Gambhir cracked a career-best and his seventh one-day
century and Virat Kohli recorded his first and put on 224 in just 214
balls for the third wicket winning the match with 11 deliveries to
India’s stand-in skipper Virender Sehwag praised both Gambhir and
Kohli said that the duo was very impressive and won the game for them.
He also thanked Sachin Tendulkar. “He told me to get the bowlers bowl on
his legs,” Sehwag said.
Commenting on the toss he said that it was a good toss to have lost
as due to the dew factor bowlers were seen struggling to grip a wet
ball. “Dew is a factor here in this weather. Even if I had won the toss,
we would have fielded,” he said.
Man-of-the-Match Gautam Gambhir also endorsed this and said that dew
was a key player. “Even when we last played here, Graeme Smith got a
hundred and it was hard for the bowlers to grip the ball.”
“The same happened with the Sri Lankan bowlers today,” Gambhir said.
“I knew if we have enough wickets in hand, any target is possible
after 40 overs. I thought we can wait till third Powerplay and take it
from there,” said Gambhir who completed 3000 ODI runs.
Sri Lanka would have a stronger battle in their hands today with
Dhoni coming back from his ban to strengthen the team.