Former Sri Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakkara suggested that the young Sri Lankan side needs to play with arrogance when they go up against their Asian rivals India on Thursday. Sri Lanka suffered a crushing 96-run defeat at the hands of South Africa in their opening match of the tournament.
"I would personally like this young Sri Lanka side to walk out at The Oval and play with the arrogance and abandon of youth," Sangakkara wrote in his column for the ICC.
Sri Lanka had a terrible start to the tournament when they lost their regular skipper Angelo Matthews to a calf injury and if the blow was not enough, their stand-in captain Upul Tharanga was handed a two-match suspension for their slow over rate in the match against South Africa.
Things don't get easier for Sri Lanka as they next face a rampaging Indian side who thrashed their arch-rivals Pakistan in their inaugural encounter of the tournament. However, Sangakkara had an insight as to how Sri Lanka can pull off an upset over the defending champions.
"They should express their talent and play a really positive brand of cricket. If they are able to do this, then they have a chance of pulling off an upset, but it will not be easy an India team that so confidently overwhelmed Pakistan on Sunday."
The former wicketkeeper-batsman also suggested that Angelo Matthews is the key if Sri Lanka are to experience success in the tournament. Moreover, the 39-year old stressed on the poor over rate scenario and advised to resolve the problem. "If Angelo, Sri Lanka's best batsman and captain, is deemed unavailable for this vital clash, it could severely hamper the team's chances of winning against India," Sangakkara added.
"Even if Angelo is considered fit, the threat of slow over-rate will be a major concern. Having Tharanga suspended is a huge waste. With quite an experienced and senior bowling attacked led by (seamer) Lasith Malinga, a team constituting two spinners, it is unacceptable that Sri Lanka was over by 39 minutes.", the former southpaw concluded.
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.