Whether weather has its say !
With the first India-Sri Lanka ODI at Eden Gardens Kolkata coming to an watery end after just 18.2 overs the weather over here in Rajkot looks bleak with rain being experienced even yesterday evening.
|Sri Lankan cricketer Sanath Jayasuriya (L) laughs as team physio Alex Kounturi tapes his finger during a training session at the Madhavrao Scindia stadium in Rajkot, 10 February 2007. AFP PHOTO/ Indranil
Of course at Kolkata even the super sopper was unable to bring back the game which disappointed the 100,000 spectators who had come to witness their favourite and hometown boy Sourav Ganguly. They anticipated him to make a ton, which he has never achieved in his own backyard.
But it never happened. The spectators were only able to witness master blaster Jayasuriya in his usual flamboyant style. However that too was short-lived by a heavy downpour which lasted just over an hour which was sufficient to damage the outfield. The organizers at the Cricket Association of Bengal (CBA) led by its new president Prasun Mukherjee made valiant efforts to get the game going and even considered playing a Twenty/20 game. However everything came to nil as the ground was not fit for play.
The game today at Madhavrao Scindia Cricket ground is going to be vital for the two teams, but the Indian captain is finding hard to name a 12 member team due to injuries. Irfan Pathan is down with a shoulder injury while Yuvraj Singh is suffering from a back injury. Ajit Agarkar is also not fit through flu. The Madhavrao ground unlike Eden Garden cannot hold a crowd of over 10,000. Nevertheless an official at the grounds stated that one could expect a high scoring game today. But skipper Dravid is not going take the Sri Lankans lightly, in spite of the absence of two top players Chaminda Vaas and Mutthiah Muralitharan.
The Sri Lankan team must be frustrated as they have not been able to show off their talents. Skipper Mahela Jayawardena failed to impress and also Upul Tharanga - though he began in calypso fashion at Kolkota - before being tied down by Munaf Patel who ultimately uprooted his stumps. He along with Kumar Sangakkara got out for low scoresThey should make amend in this games. Marvan Atapattu was not his usual self in the first game and seemed to be nervous. Nevertheless the focus for both teams will be the selection of the 15 man squad for the forthcoming World Cup. The Sri Lanka players have not been able to show off their capabilities and should grab the opportunity today with both hands. According to sources India is likely to retain the team that played in the first ODI at Kolkata. The Sri Lankans are also unlikely to make any changes and the crowd here will be anticipating another powerful knock by Sanath Jayasuriya.
Lastly the weather conditions in Kolkata was predicted with showers expected for over one week and all expectations here at the moment is that there will not be a repeat in the second clash today.
India - Rahul Dravid (Capt), Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Dinesh Karthik, Mahendra Singh Doni, Harbhajan Singh, S. Sreesanth, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel.
Sri Lanka - Mahela Jayawardena (Capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Marvan Atapattu, T.M. Dilshan, Russel Arnold, Chamara Silva, Malinga Bandara, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekera.