Port of Spain: India will have to play to their full potential when they meet Sri Lanka in their last must-win league match on Tuesday to keep alive their hopes of making it to the final of the tri-nation ODI series.
The Indians, who rediscovered their spark courtesy the crushing victory over the West Indies, will seek to keep the momentum going in the crucial game against the Lankans.
The win over West Indies on Monday has catapulted Sri Lanka to top of the points table with nine points and the best (+1.019) net run rate among the three teams. West Indies (-0.383) also have nine points but are placed second due to inferior NRR. India are last on the table with five points and worst (-0.524) NRR.
Sri Lanka's victory has left India with no option but to win Tuesday's match against the South Asian neighbours to qualify for the final. According to statisticians, all India need to do is to win by one run of off the last ball.
In such a scenario, India and Sri Lanka will qualify for the final on the basis of net run rate.
The last time India and Sri Lanka came face to face, the islanders sailed past their neighbours with enormous ease.
But the fatigue factor, which incidentally is also setting in on the clashes between the two South Asian rivals due to the sheer frequency, could prove to be Sri Lanka's undoing on Tuesday.
The Indians would come into match quite fresh and on a high after beating the West Indies in their previous game, a win that kept them in the hunt for a final berth.
Kohli provided the spark, after twin debacles in the first leg, with an inspiring hundred that was also his first as captain.