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MS Dhoni eyes third World Cup triumph

Captain Cool confident ahead of another grand finale

India captain MS Dhoni is one step away from his third World cup triumph. His journey as a captain has been a topsyturvy ride ever since he helped India lift the inaugural T20 World cup in 2007.

Triumphs, losses and controversies have been a part of his career till date, and describing his journey as a leader, he said, "Over the years that I have been the captain, I have seen almost everything. Good times, lean times, controversies, I have been through all. There is nothing really that I have not seen in cricket. There's hardly any good or bad in Indian cricket that happens without my name.”

Into his seventh year as India captain, MS Dhonisaid, it has been a learning curve for him all these years and he continues to be a student of the game. "It has been an interesting time, with ups and downs. It has taught me a lot and it's still a learning curve forme, and hopefully it will teach me many more in my coming life after cricket. I know there are certain things that are in my control. I look to move in that direction rather than thinking or living a thought that's beyond my control. And that has really helped me.”

When asked about handling pressure as India captain,he said that he liked to keep the pressures associated with his captaincy at the stadium. These are testing times for the team and a T20 World Cup victory under such circumstances should keep the team in good stead. India face Sri Lanka in the final and Dhoni was of the view thatbeing crowned champions was of utmost importance.

"It is important for us to play well and not think about the rest of the things. Winning the World Cup for the country is more important than thinking about the other stuff.”

India has won three major finals under Dhoni’s captaincy: the 2007 T20 World Cup, the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Will the 2014 T20 World Cup be added to that list? That will be answeredonly once the action unfolds on Sunday.

News

Preview: World T20 – Sri Lanka vs India

Spin the cynosure in yet another India-Sri Lanka finale

What

Final of the ICC World Twenty20, 2014

When

Friday, April 6, (13:00 GMT | 19:00 Local | 18:30 IST)

Where

Shere Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur

The Teams


India

The way they have fared in this tournament, it seems rather unfathomable at the moment that anyone can stop India from surging to the World Twenty20 title. They have arguably been the most complete team in conditions that suit them to the T. Perhaps, the most impressive aspect of India’s performance has been the way the batsmen and bowlers have complemented each other. While the spinners won them the initial games with their skills and guile, the batsmen took over the baton in the last match when the bowlers barring Ashwin had a relatively off day.

In the semi-final against South Africa, India’s batting was tested for the first time and they emerged with flying colours. Virat Kohli continued to bat like a dream, and not only got India out of the jail but also driving them home from a tough position. The self belief that they can chase down any total was visible in India’s batting and that will bode well for them in the big game.

Dhoni preferred to go in with Mohit Sharma ahead of Mohammad Shami in the semi-final. He might want to review that decision in the final. Not only did Mohit got pounded to the tune of 3-0-34-0 but also Shami’s ability to bowl quick yorkers cannot be discounted in such huge game.

Sri Lanka

It is 2011 World Cup final all over again. And this time, the Sri Lankans will be desperate to get even. The men from the Emerald isle are no strangers to playing an ICC tournament final. This is the time to put together all their big-game experiences and crossing that final hurdle that has haunted them since 1996. Giving a winning T20 farewell to two of their greatest cricketers – Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara – is an extra motivation.

Like India, it is their spin bowling that has gotten them this far in the tournament. Rangana Herath and Ajantha Mendis have been as crucial to the Lankans’ cause as Mishra and Ashwin have been to India’s. While they will look to use the spinners to get the better of Yuvraj Singh, their best bet against the Indian openers will be the toe-crushers of Lasith Malinga.

Key Players

India


It seems next to impossible these days to not think of Virat Kohli when talking of India’s key players. The most incredible aspect of Virat’ run-streak is that he thrives under the conditions that the others wither. More arduous the task, greater are the chances of Virat bringing out a gem from his bat. The fact that he is one of the few players who likes taking on Malinga – and he succeeds most of the time – makes Virat all the more indispensible against Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka

Lasith Malinga might not be a mystery for the Indian batsmen anymore, but he is still the best the Sri Lankans have got. Moreover, taking a risk against him can be fatal even for the best batsmen. If not losing wickets to him in the first five overs is on the minds of the Indian openers, it will allow the Lankans to put more pressure on the following batsmen. If the openers go in with an attacking mindset, Malinga might end up with crucial early wickets. Planning his four overs will be key for India.

Statistics

Statistical Preview, India vs Sri Lanka

Result summary in Twenty20 Internationals


Result summary in Twenty20 Internationals

Mts

Won

Lost

NR

Win%

India

51

31

19

1

60.78

Sri Lanka

65

41

23

1

63.08

Last 5 matches (Most recent listed first)

India:               W W W W W

Sri Lanka:        W W L W W

Captaincy records

Mts

Won

Lost

NR

Win%

MS Dhoni

47

27

19

1

57.45

Lasith Malinga

2

2

0

0

100.00

Dinesh Chandimal

12

8

4

0

66.66


 Head to head

Mts

Ind

SL

Overall

5

3

2

in World T20

1

0

1


India-Sri Lanka in Twenty20 Internationals

Date

Venue

Batted 1st

Batted 2nd

Result

10-02-2009

Colombo RPS

SL 171-4

Ind 174-7

India won by 3 wickets

09-12-2009

Nagpur

SL 215-5

Ind 186-9

Sri Lanka won by 29 runs

12-12-2009

Mohali

SL 206-7

Ind 211-4

India won by 6 wickets

11-05-2010

Gros Islet

Ind 163-5

SL 167-5

Sri Lanka won by 5 wickets

07-08-2012

Pallekele

Ind 155-3

SL 116

India won by 39 runs


Trivia

Tomorrow’s match between India and Sri Lanka will be 400th Twenty20 International.

India have now won seven Twenty20 Internationals on the trot. Only two teams – England and Ireland – have a longer winner streak (of 8 matches each).

India have a 9-8 win-loss record against Sri Lanka in tournament finals (all in ODIs). In addition, twice a final was rained off.

Squads

India: MS Dhoni (capt/wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Amit Mishra, Stuart Binny, Mohit Sharma, Varun Aaron, Ravindra Jadeja.

Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (capt), Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kusal Perera, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Lahiru Thirimanne, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Seekkuge Prasanna, Chaturanga de Silva, Suranga Lakmal.