Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Unchanged India bat on reserve day

Malinda Warnapura gets his second ODI cap at the expense of Chamara Silva.

Toss India chose to bat v Sri Lanka

Under clear blue skies, Mahendra Singh Dhoni won his fourth straight toss and chose to bat, reasoning the pitch was a bit dry and the spinners could get some help later on. India, 2-1 up in the series, went in unchanged and with four specialist bowlers but Sri Lanka made one change, bringing in opener Malinda Warnapura for Chamara Silva.

Sri Lanka's batting has looked top-heavy in recent times with their three big names - Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, and Mahela Jayawardene - at the top of the order failing to fire. Warnapura averages a modest 28 in List As and earns his second ODI cap on the back of some impressive showings at the Test level; his inclusion will see Sangakkara drop down to No 3 and stiffen the middle order.

In the lead-up to the match, Sangakkara had stressed the importance of the top order firing. "In one-day cricket if a top-order batsman stays in until the 30th over there is almost a certainty he will score a hundred," he said. "That is the kind of attitude that top-order players should carry into a match." Sound advice for Sri Lanka's batsmen, none of whom has made a century at home since Upul Tharanga in September 2005.

Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt/wk), Rohit Sharma, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel

Sri Lanka:
Sanath Jayasuriya, Malinda Warnapura, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Chamara Kapugedera, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Chaminda Vaas, Thilan Thushara, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan