INDIA AND Sri Lanka, who showed Pakistan and New Zealand the way back home in the semi-finals, are now all set to take the final challenge on April 2, 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
The excitement is building up and expectations are mounting, especially for India because if they win it would be a ‘perfect farewell’, as many would like to put it, for Gary Kirsten and Sachin Tendulkar. Though, there is no retirement call for Sachin for now, but it is definitely his last World Cup.
Sri Lanka has been a very strong contender so far. They have consecutively reached the World cup finals and their performance against New Zealand was stupendous. However, it is also being said that the Sri Lankan middle order hasn’t been put to test in this tournament. Their spinners have done well throughout the tournament and Muralitharan is the highest wicket taker so far.
On the other hand India has been everyone’s favourite since the beginning of the tournament. But their performance hasn’t been good on the batting side. In matches against the strong teams like South Africa and England India’s batting line up was wobbly. However, India has been pretty nice on the fielding front; thanks to the coach, Gary Kirsten.
The game on Saturday is going to be a tough fight for both the teams. Dhoni will have a difficult time in deciding his team’s bowling cadre, after a good performance by Munaf and Nehra in the semi-final. Kumar Sangakkara may decide to take up 3 spinners. But the final decisions about the team would be made on Saturday only.
Both the teams have been longing for the Cup, India since 1983 and Sri Lanka since 1996. But, somehow everyone’s gut feeling says that this World Cup is for India, Sachin, Dhoni and his cadre. The history is bound to repeat itself after 28 years, but nothing is decided yet. An unpredictable turn of events till the last ball is always a possibility. And, every spectator is looking forward to some good cricket and great performances on field.
The two teams will be performing in front of a hysterical crowd. Strategies are being worked out on both ends. Every player is looking forward to perform his best. The feeling with both the teams is ‘we are ready, bring it on’. Who will hold World Cup 2011? This remains a mystery to be unfolded by destiny.