Victorious so far, a positive India would be up against a huge challenge when they take on sub-continental rivals Sri Lanka, a team on the dominance after a slow start, in the semifinal match of the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 here tomorrow.
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India will be the fancied team on paper but the Lankans are also on a high after defeating both England and Australia en route to the semifinal, which would be a repeat of the ICC World Cup 2011 final in Mumbai.
While India were the first team to make the last four from the tournament`s Group of Death with an all-win record, Sri Lanka grabbed the last semifinal berth on Tuesday after warding off a late challenge from Australia.
The 20 run win against the Aussies at The Oval enabled the Lankans to finish level on points with England, but an inferior run-rate pushed them to No. 2 and earned them a date with India at the Sophia Gardens.
For the Lankans, the clash against India will be a grudge game of sorts. In the final of the ICC World Cup 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium, India outclassed the co-hosts by six wickets, easily chasing down a 275-run target, with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni laying the coup de grace with a towering six off Nuwan Kulasekara.
While Sri Lanka have retained the core of that ICC World Cup 2011 Kumar Sangakkara led squad here at the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, the Indian team has seen an influx of new blood after Sandeep Patil replaced Krishnamachari Srikkanth as chief selector in September 2012.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav.
Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews (C), Dinesh Chandimal, Dilhara Lokuhettige, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Shaminda Eranga, Rangana Herath, Mahela Jayawardene, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Jeevan Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake and Lahiru Thirimanne.
Match starts at 3 pm (IST).