Finally, after 6 weeks of high octane cricketing action, it all comes down to tomorrow’s final. India takes on Sri Lanka for the Silverware and more importantly a place in World Cup history.
For Sri Lanka, who were the runner-up of the last edition, this game will be their 2nd consecutive shot at glory. Losing Mathews will be a huge setback for them as he’s a brilliant all-rounder and someone who is seen as the next big thing. However, likes of Dilshan, Tharanga, Sanga will look to step it up. Bowling will be a worry for Sri Lanka simply because Muralitharan doesn’t seem to be 100% and rest of their spinners haven’t had too much success against India over the last 15 months. So, there will be lot of pressure on Malinga to deliver, a bad outing might spell doom for Sri Lanka. But, having seen Sri Lankan Cricketers over the years, I’m sure they will put in their best performance.
Strengths: Opening Batsmen, Malinga
Weakness: Fragile middle order
India on the other hand looks decent but, they haven’t improved much over the tournament. Batting collapses, Bowling woes and marginal fielding luckily hasn’t hampered the teams progress, this can be largely attributed to the fact that other teams weren’t doing well, it isn’t India which has raised its standards. Tomorrow, as always a lot will depend on Sachin’s innings, he’s our best batsmen, naturally he needs to come good. India will miss the services of Ashish Nehra which means Ashwin will get to play or Yusuf Pathan might be drafted into the side to reinforce the batting. Whoever plays, it will add some variety to our bowling line up. Team India will have to put in much more than 100% to go past the line, this will be a huge test. Hope for the best.
Strengths: Sachin, Yuvraj
Weakness: Batting flip-flops, Bowling
Mumbai pitch has historically been a slow turner, I won’t be surprised to see the team winning the toss opting to bat first. Any score of 250 and above should be good enough to push for a win. For the team chasing, they would need much more than talent, skill and luck to get there. I strongly believe which ever team bowls well will claim the cup. Also, I feel this won’t be a one sided final as we had in the last three editions. This one could well go down to the wire because none of the teams are playing like gods, it’s all even. Looking forward to the finals, I guess I would have a sleepless night but the unrest is worth it.