Though India starts as the favourites versus the Sri Lankans, I believe after their emphatic win against the Australians, the Sri Lankans must be high on confidence and are bound to be a more than handy customer to face.
India and Sri Lanka have been playing a lot against each other of late besides players from both the teams have been playing alongside in IPL matches, it will be a different psyche when they play the semis of a big tournament like the Champions Trophy. And, the presence of huge support both the teams would receive at the ground from their countrymen is bound to spur the player on to give off their best.
For Mahela Jayawardena, the veteran of many a battle and who takes great pride in his and his team’s performance, will be a big occasion, as he played a gem of an innings against the Australians and would like to repeat it when up against a more formidable opponent.
Lasith Malinga, too, must be looking forward to this game with great expectations, for he is one of the best exponents of slower deliveries, slower full tosses at the death that has bamboozled many batting stalwarts.
I am quite impressed the way Dinesh Karthik has easily adapted to his new role as a batsman-fielder. He is a gutsy player and a 100% team man. As a chairman of selection committee that picked Karthik (he is called DK) ahead of Sehwag, I remember him volunteering to open the innings firstly against the Proteas and later against England in England.
He did a commendable job as an opener then and at present his transition as a middle order is smooth too. He is a sort of player who would never fuss about anything. He wants to play for India and play well.
With the tremendous firepower at its disposal in all the departments of the game and their recent good record against the Sri Lankans, the Indians are expected to deliver once again but they should be vigilant against getting overconfident. There is no doubt it’s going to be a closely fought game and the team with more depth in bowling will come up triumphant.
Professional Management Group