India peak at right time in tri-series

Port of Spain (Trinidad), July 10 (IANS) Champions Trophy winners India seem to have peaked at the right time in the tri-series here and they now look good to win the final against Sri Lanka Thursday.

After losing their first two matches against the West Indies and Sri Lanka at Kingston, Jamaica, India have come back strongly winning their final two league matches here at the Queen's Park Oval to top the table and with two bonus points to boot.

Stand-in captain Virat Kohli Tuesday said skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would play if India entered the final. If Dhoni indeed returns to lead the side after leaving the field with a hamstring injury in the first match against the West Indies, he will brighten India's chances of winning the tournament.

After a whirlwind start to his ODI career, which saw him win Man of the Tournament in Champions Trophy, Shikhar Dhawan has struck a lean patch in this series.

His partner Rohit Sharma appears to have cemented his place as an opener. The right-hander has been India's top scorer this series, scoring 159 runs in four matches.

Interim captain Virat Kohli also has been in good nick and has notched 146 runs at an average of 36.50.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav have been the pick of the bowlers in the tournament.

Bhuvenshwar dismantled the Sri Lankan batsmen in the must-win last round robin match and was the key in India entering the final.

The Uttar Pradesh swing bowler was unplayable in damp conditions, picking up four wickets for eight runs to take his tally to eight in the tournament.

Meanwhile, the Lankans will have to overcome fatigue after rain forced them to play on three consecutive days and now will take part in the final with just a day's rest.

Captain Angelo Mathews has been one of the star performers for his team, taking six wickets and scoring 139 runs. Sri Lanka also have the tournament top scorer, Upal Tharanga, who has scored 212 runs at an average of 70.66.

The only thing that could play spoilsport in this all-Asian final is rain. Every single match held here has been interrupted by rain.

Teams:

India (from): Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Murali Vijay, Amit Mishra, Vinay Kumar, Ambati Rayudu.

Sri Lanka (from): Angelo Mathews (captain), Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Jeevan Mendis, Ajantha Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Dilhara Lokuhettige and Shaminda Eranga, Suranga Lakmal.

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