India and Sri Lanka will meet at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium in the grand finale of ICC World Cup 2011, on Saturday, April 2. India are overwhelming favourites to add a second world cup to the first one they won in 1983. Here are 4 reasons why I think India will win this match without much ado:
1. Batting Depth: The Indian batting powerhouse does not always put up 300 runs on the board, but is better able to recover from a collapse – as was proved against Pakistan in the semi-finals, when they rallied from 205/6 to push the score up to 260 – thanks to depth. Harbhajan, who has 2 test centuries to his credit comes in at number 8, and that’s a telling testament. Contrast this with Sri Lanka’s batting, and you will find that Sangakkara’s squad are reliant on the top four batsmen clicking. They have a long tail, and players like Samaraveera and Silva have proved unreliable in the lower middle order. Mathew has had a few cameos, but his injury concern, ahead of the final, does not bode well for Sri Lanka.
2. Bowling Depth: With the induction of Ashwin in the squad, India have bowlers with a better ability to take wickets than the Sri Lankans who look to aging Murali to provide breakthroughs. Malinga is a rhythm bowler and once confronted by an attacking batsman like Sehwag could go off his rhythm very quickly. Youngsters like Mathew, Kulasekhara and Mendis have not been penetrative enough to hold any threat to the Indian batsmen.
3. Yuvraj Singh: If one player can make a difference to India’s title aspiration, it’s Yuvraj Singh. Apart from Yuvraj’s welcome return to form with the bat, his bowling has made an even stronger impression. While Harbhajan has found wickets hard to come by, Yuvraj has been deceiving batsmen with flight and guile, much like a frontline bowler, and his 10 overs could prove the winning edge especially when India defend a total.
4. Psychological Advantage: In recent years, India have exerted a psychological advantage over Sri Lanka. No matter how well Sri Lanka do against other teams, they seem to come unraveled, when they face India. Apart from the need to avenge their semi-final loss at Kolkata in 1996, the more recent 2007 defeat must rankle in the minds of Indian players, making India the hungrier team on the day.
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Jinxatious is the Chief Editor of SportingAttitude.com
An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.