Welcome back, Team India
After finally getting the kind of break they should have originally got a year ago, India’s national team will rumble to life tomorrow against Sri Lanka in the first ODI at Hambantota.
For the first time since the 2011 World Cup began, we will have at hand a squad with rested, rejuvenated players. After 15 months on the road in a stretch, it’s a surprise they go home in one piece. They do not want to just shake hands and settle for a 1-0 scoreline like Dhoni did after a tiring tour at Dominica last year. They are hungry, adventurous and will give their every bit to make it 2-0.
There are also a couple of youngsters in the team who will want to seal a berth. Ajinkya Rahane made a superb start to the IPL but when he tapered away at the end of the tournament, so did his team. Manoj Tiwary has spent 13 matches in a row sitting on the bench right after he hit a century against the West Indies in Chennai last year. Suresh Raina sleepwalked through the IPL before hitting his only fifty in the final.
These players have another chance to make themselves invaluable, they will surely grab it. Sri Lanka have been busier, blanking Pakistan at home since the IPL ended but the youngsters should be able to make up for any rustiness, competing from the very first ball.
The team also has a chance to acclimatize themselves to the grounds they will be playing the ICC World Twenty20 at later in September. This tour will serve as a sort of reconnaissance mission to help them when they’re playing the World Cup. Let’s hope they use this chance well, make their mark and come back with their heads held high!
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