Monday, July 21, 2008

Sri Lanka vs India 1st Test 2008: Fight among four spinners

Indian cricket team is now in Sri Lanka. Tourist India team will play a three-match Test series followed by five ODI matches against host team. Test series will start from 23rd July, 2008. The first Test between host Sri Lanka vs India will take place Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo at 10:15 local (04:45 GMT). Fans of cricket game are excited to see this rival match. Captain of both teams are expected to give a closely contested match. Sri Lanka vs India Test series means the fight among talented spinners. Four best spinners in world cricket will be on show that makes the series special than others.

Sri Lankan most experienced bowler and all time great Sri Lankan player Muttiah Muralitharan is always destructive in home ground. He is now in good form and confident to demolish India’s strong batting line-up. This veteran has more than 1000 wickets to his name in international cricket. This bowling great has over six wickets per Test. He is the highest wicket taker in Test cricket with 735 wickets. Recently he was awarded for most outstanding sportsman of the year. This award will boost him to play well against India team. However, I am little bit confusion about him because was never considered to be a very big threat for India team.

One bowler of Sri Lanka team seems to be the causing of worry for Indian fans. That is Ajantha Mendis and his mystery balls around whom all the hype are going into series. This new bowling sensation can bowl variety of deliveries. Because of his destructive bowling action India failed to get Asia Cup 2008 trophy. He was hero of the Asia Cup 2008 final match with 6 wickets for 13 runs. He made his ODI debut in 2008 against West Indies. Since his debut he has played 8 ODIs and got 20 wickets. This is the first Test match for Ajantha Mendis. No doubt, Mendis should want to make his Test debut memorable. If he needs any help for tutor there can be none better than Muttiah Muralitharan. Both can make a destructive bowling attack against Indian team. According to Sri Lankan bowler Chaminda Vaas Muralitharan become the bigger threat for Team India. The most important question is who the bigger threat for India team is.

India feels proud for their strong and destructive spin bowling attack. Most of the time we can see that spin survive them in the competition. Without any spin bowler Indian main team is unthinkable. Now, it is Indian Test captain Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh who have had to continue the legacy. This series is very important for both of them. They have to face a major test with Sri Lanka’s strong batting line-up and the foreign conditions. They have to bear the responsibility of whole team. Most of you already know that Anil Kumble is the third highest wicket taker in Test cricket. Harbhajan Singh has come back in the international cricket after his five ODI suspension for slapping his team mate Sreesanth in the IPL tournament. Neither Anil Kumble nor Harbhajan has good experience in the Lankan soil. But their recent performances in some away series keep themselves ahead in this contest.

I have talked a lot about four spinners in two teams. It does not mean that pace bowlers have any responsibility in this series. Indian young bowler Ishant Sharma can give some pleasure showing his bowling talent. Now, most experienced bowler Zaheer Khan has come back from injury. He is now eagerly waiting to beat the host team. His experience will help India team to go on. On the other hand, it is Chaminda Vaas who is all time top listed bowlers in ICC bowlers ranking. Dilhara Fernando will give him support to make protest. The good news is that Maharoof and Malinga, who were left out from Asia Cup 2008 squad, come back from injury.

I know most of the cricket fans are expecting to see Sehwag vs Mendis and Sangakarra vs Kumble clash. Will it possible ever. Let us see what is waiting for next.

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