Thursday, June 24, 2010

Are Sri Lanka favorites to win the Asia cup?

They might have done it in the past two editions of the Asia cup in 2008 and 2004 when it was held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka respectively. And, much to anyone's amazement, Sri Lanka faced India in the finals of the mega tournament and once again needless to be said won the same. This time as well, with India being the contenders for the title, the question (though not worth million dollars) is whether Sri Lanka still have the commitment to perform the same task which they did in the previous two editions of the same and a couple of days back?

Sri Lanka managed to beat India by 7 wickets in the league stage encounter of the Asia cup just a couple of days back and then they recently did India out of the race in the tri series involving Zimbabwe as the 3rd team in Zimbabwe just a month back. At the same time, citing India's chances, India have been beating Sri Lanka since the past two years or so in most of the bilateral series which involved both the teams. Prior to that, India won the tri series involving India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand which set the scores level for both the teams under discussion when it comes to triangular series.

No matter what the past speaks regarding both teams, one has to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the teams ready to battle it out on the big stage. The guess is not like picking one from a set of Random Images and instead is a prediction as to who stands front to grab the title. Statistics also suggest that India have been the underdogs when it comes to the finals of a tournament containing three or more teams. Some exception to this being the T20 world cup 2007 and as mentioned earlier the tri nation tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

But this time the onus is on India not only for their past performances against Sri Lanka but also due to the fact that they are a better opposition no matter where the game is being played. India is not dependent on any one player like it was some 7 years ago when the absence of Sachin Tendulkar hindered their performance. There are likes of Gambhir, Sehwag, Yuvraj to name a few who can deal with any opposition. Sri Lanka on the other hand are here in the final this time only due to the fact that they are the hosts and have been lucky as the hosts most of the time.

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