India managed to get through step one without too many hiccups, easing past Bangladesh in the Asia cup 2014 opener. The next two steps will be considerably trickier, starting with the match against Sri Lanka on Friday.
[Read the India vs Sri Lanka report HERE]
Virat Kohli dispelled any worries about captaincy possibly weighing down on his batting, by stroking a supreme century against Bangladesh, and Indian cricket's heir apparent will be the cynosure of most eyes against Sri Lanka as well.
"India are a very good side, especially in last two or three years they have played good cricket," Sri Lanka vice-captain Dinesh Chandimal said. "Virat Kohli is batting exceptionally well.
"They have some really good players but we have got bowlers like [Lasith] Malinga. So we will see.
"We are also doing well at the moment. Everyone, in both the batting and bowling departments are in good form. We are looking forward to doing a good job."
The Lankans began their campaign with a tense victory over Pakistan, with Malinga coming to the fore in some style, but then Kohli has always taken a special liking to the slinger from Sri Lanka.
"We all know, he is a really good batsman. But as I said we have something in our mind and we will see tomorrow," Chandimal added. "We are keeping our fingers crossed.
"They [India] played really special [against Bangladesh]. They are good at chasing but we have a good bowling attack. We have something in our sleeves for them, so we are looking forward to doing that."
Chasing will be the premier aspect on the minds of both the captains come toss time. Kohli will no doubt hope to win the coin toss and definitely choose bowl first, while Angelo Mathews, knowing full well India's strengths lie in chasing, will also look to field first if given the opportunity.
Ajinkya Rahane was quite impressive against Bangladesh, acting as the perfect foil to Kohli, while the India bowlers did pretty well to restrict the opposing side's batsmen in the death overs - something that is bound to be crucial against Sri Lanka, and the next match against Pakistan as well.
India and Sri Lanka are, of course, familiar foes, having met each other several times in the recent past. It has been a little over half-a-year, however, since their last meeting, and changes have been afoot in both camps.
Sri Lanka also hold the upper hand when it comes being familiar with the conditions, having played a full series with Bangladesh just prior to the Asia Cup. But then, when it comes to big matches, especially in this format of the Asia Cup, where pretty much every match is crucial in deciding the finalists out of the five teams, it is about who performs on the day.
Yes, dew, bowling or batting first will play a part; but if the players step up and play their roles, then there should be no problem in picking up a second straight victory, for either side.
Asia Cup 2014: India vs Sri Lanka Live TV information (Match starts 1.30 pm local time, 2 pm IST, 3.30 am ET, 8.30 am GMT)
|India||Star Sports 1,Star Sports 3 and
Star Sports HD1
|Canada||CBN andATN Cricket Plus|
|United Kingdom||Star Life OK|
|Bangladesh||Channel 9 andStar Life OK|
|Sri Lanka||MTV Sports|
Asia Cup 2014: India vs Sri Lanka Live Streaming information (Match starts 1.30 pm local time, 2 pm IST, 3.30 am ET, 8.30 am GMT)
|Pakistan||PTV &Geo Super Live|
|Sri Lanka||MTV Sports|
|Australia||Setanta Sports Plus|
Team news: India: It was a stellar tournament debut for Kohli and co., and too many changes are unlikely. Varun Aaron, though, was quite unimpressive against Bangladesh, and the pace bowler might be benched in favour of Ishwar Pandey, who will be chomping at the bit to have a go.
Sri Lanka: Chandimal hinted at the possible inclusion of Ajantha Mendis, but it remains to be seen, who the spinner replaces in the playing XI. "He is a wicket taking bowler," Chandimal said. "I think he has a good chance to play in Friday's game."
Expected lineups: India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishwar Pandey.
Sri Lanka: Kusal Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jaywardene, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Chaturanga De Silva, Ajantha Mendis, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal.