India have continued their T20 dominance with an impressive win over Pakistan in their last Asia Cup encounter. With such victory, India have become an even confident unit. The same cannot be said for Sri Lanka, who lost against Bangladesh Sunday.
With India in great form, MS Dhoni and his men can clinch their final berth with a defeat against Sri Lanka when the two nations battle it out at Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, Tuesday. The match is of huge importance to Sri Lanka as the Islanders have to defeat India to remain in contention for the finals.
India are favourites for the clash.
Here is a look at some key players from both India and Sri Lanka for the T20 contest.
The left-hander is India's best T20 player, but Raina has not been able to perform in the Asia Cup so far. Raina is due for a big score after his failure against Bangladesh (13 runs) and Pakistan (1 run). Raina will be keen to make an impression in the middle with some solid knock against Sri Lanka. With the World T20 round the corner, India needs Raina in top form as he has the knack of taking the game away from the opposition in a matter of overs. Apart from his batting exploits, he is more than a handy bowler as well.
Providing early breakthroughs has always been a problem for India, but it seems to have been solved with Ashish Nehra picking up early wickets with the new ball. The left-arm pacer is a lethal bowler if there is any assistance for the bowlers in the pitch and the 22 yard strip in Mirpur has been bowler-friendly. Nehra has taken four wickets in the competition and has been a handful for Dhoni as the bowler is swinging the ball both ways to make life difficult for the opposition's top order.
The wicket-keeper batsman has been consistent with the willow in the Asia Cup, scoring 50 and 37 runs in his last two innings. The right-hander will need to stay on the batting crease even longer now as the rest of the Lankan batsmen have been below par. Chandimal, who opens the batting with Tillakaratne Dilshan, needs to come with another impressive innings, to win the game for Sri Lanka. What makes him a brilliant player is his ability to play the seamers and spinners with ease, and score runs freely all round the wicket.
One look at Sri Lanka squad represents lack of quality players in their team. However, only one player, who can be deemed world-class in the squad is Mathews, but the player has failed in Asia Cup. No doubt, he is one of the best all-rounders going around in world cricket, but his performances with the white cherry and the willow has been below satisfaction. He has scored 20 runs and taken a single wicket in their Asia Cup so far. The Lankan Lions will depend on his all-round skills against India and if Mathews gets his barrings right, Dhoni's men might be in trouble.