Team India will be locking horns against Sri Lanka in their last league game of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 at Leeds on Saturday. MS Dhoni has not had a good World Cup so far barring a couple of matches. The 2011 World Cup-winning skipper could only manage 47 runs off 81 balls against the spinners as his weakness against the slower bowlers during middle overs have come to the fore.
Dhoni will be looking to make amends with a good knock against the Island Nation, but then he will need to tackle Dhananjaya de Silva who has been pretty economical, going at a sub-5 rate in the matches that he has played. If Dhoni gets to play more balls during the middle overs against De Silva and score some runs, it will only boost his confidence.
In order to play against the spin well, MS Dhoni has approached someone for a few tips. He is none other than Team India's head coach Ravi Shastri. Shastri was a left-arm spinner during his playing days apart from being a useful batsman as well. The all-rounder, who had led India to the World Championship of Cricket triumph in 1985, has 151 Test wickets and 129 ODI scalps. As per reports, Shastri was seen explaining Mahi about the wrist variations of a spinner, as MSD was seen taking the coach's advice attentively.
India will be eyeing to somehow get to the top spot by beating the 1996 winners while the Lankans will be looking to salvage pride as they are already out of contention for the semis. India can finish on the first position provided Australia lose to South Africa later in the day. The Men In Blue are currently at the second position with six wins in eight matches and 13 points in their tally. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka are at the sixth position with three wins and three losses in their eight matches and eight points.
When it comes to the head-to-head meetings in World Cups, Sri Lanka lead India by a 4-3 margin. The island nation had registered victories in 1979, 1996(twice) and 2007 while India had emerged victorious in 1999, 2003 and 2011 editions respectively. After all, who can forget that heartbreaking moment during the 1996 semi-final where Sri Lanka were declared winners by default due to crowd trouble and in 2007 when Rahul Dravid & Co. were shown the exit door in the first round itself. However, all those heartbreaks were compensated when MS Dhoni hit the winning six as India were crowned World Champions for the second time after a long wait of 28 years.
(With PTI Inputs)