India keen to make amends after Nagpur mauling
Stung by the flop show in the first game, India have plenty of repair work to do as they go into the second Twenty20 match against Sri Lanka in Mohali on Saturday.
It was a shoddy performance in all departments of the game, as the hosts lost the first match in Nagpur by 29 runs. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows the team will have to lift its game if it has to level the series.
If the fielding was poor, the batting and bowling was also left much to be desired. The team management may opt for a couple of changes in the playing eleven for the floodlit contest at the PCA stadium.
Image: The Indian team during a practice session
Problems aplenty for Dhoni
The visitors, on the other hand, go into the contest in a positive frame of mind after the convincing victory in Nagpur.
The Lankans have swashbucklers like Sanath Jayasuriya and Tillakaratne Dilshan at the top of the order and the duo can tear apart any bowling attack to pieces when on song.
They have the experienced Mahela Jayawardene in the middle order to steady the ship in case there are early jolts, while Chamara Kapugedera and Angelo Mathews can be quite destructive down the line-up.
Return of Muttiah Muralitharan, who had to sit out of the first match due to a finger injury, means that the bowling department gets a boost.
Dhoni was a trifle concerned about India's poor run in the shortest format of the game and is keen to put a halt to the sequence of defeats.
"Unfortunately we are not being able to get into the groove when we play Twenty20 Internationals before the one-day series. We made the mistake of taking them (Twenty20 matches) as warm-up games before one-day matches," Dhoni said.
"We don't actually think of these Twenty 20 matches as international matches. I am not sure about this but the statistics shows that we are not doing well," he added.
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Fielding needs to improve
The Indian fielding was a big let down and new fielding consultant Mike Young has an enormous task to ensure that catches are held and no extra runs given because of mis-fields.
"We are not one of the best fielding sides in the world, but we are also not known to drop too many catches. Of course, the dropped catches hurt us in the first match," Dhoni pointed out.
Image: Ishant Sharma drops a catch
The islanders, however, have done well by not allowing the 2-0 Test drubbing dent their morale, and the presence of some fresh players seems to have rejuvenated the team.
Skipper Kumar Sangakkara's 37-ball 78 blitzkrieg, demoraised the Indian bowling, who seemed to have no clue where to bowl to the southpaw.
"It is a new format and there are fresh faces, who are one-day specialists in the team, ready to stand up and be counted. The win in Nagpur has lifted the morale of the team," declared Sri Lankan captain Sangakkara.
"Of course, we will start from scratch in the one-day series but a win always makes you happy. We would want to carry on the momentum in Mohali," he added.
Image: Kumar Sangakkara during his 37-ball 78 knock
Toss will be crucial
The toss could turn out to be crucial, as dew is expected to play a part in the match at this time of the year. The team winning the toss may avoid bowling second, as the dew will make it difficult to grip the ball.
The Mohali track is known to offer some pace and bounce to the bowlers and it is not going to be any different this time around.
"There is going to be something for the bowlers under the present conditions, but, overall, it will be a good wicket with pace and carry," chief curator Daljit Singh said.
India: MS Dhoni (C), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Yusuf Pathan, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, S Sreesanth, Ashok Dinda, Sudeep Tyagi, Pragyan Ojha.
Sri Lanka: Kumar Sangakkara (C), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chinthaka Jayasinghe, Sanath Jayasuriya, Mahela Jayawardene, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Muthiah Muralitharan, Muthumudalige Pushpakumara, Dilhara Fernando, Kaushalya Weeraratne, Chanaka Welegedara.
Umpires: S K Tarapore and Sajay Hazari
Third umpire: Sudhir Ansari
Match referee: Jeff Crowe.
Match starts 1730 IST
Image: Mahendra Singh Dhoni