Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Dubai Sports City to host ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier

Dubai Sports City to host ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier
Dubai Sports City is to host the International Cricket Council’s World Twenty20 Qualifier in February, it has been announced.

Dubai International Cricket Stadium, which is part of the $5bn Dubai Sports City development, will now host 11 out of 17 qualifying matches in the UAE, including six group stage matches, four Super Four matches, and the series event final.

The ICC WT20 Qualifier involves two groups of four teams with Ireland, Scotland, Afghanistan and the USA making up Group A while Kenya, the Netherlands, Canada and the UAE will make up Group B.

The winners from both groups will qualify for a place in the ICC World Twenty20 to be staged in Barbados, Guyana and St. Lucia in the West Indies in April and May.

The Dubai International Cricket Stadium opened in April 2009 and the ICC Global Cricket Academy is part of Dubai Sports City’s Academies Campus, which is due to open in the first quarter of 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Dhoni receives ICC Test Championship mace

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was awarded the Test Championship mace from International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, after leading his team to the pinnacle of ICC Test rankings.

India jumped from third in the rankings to displace South Africa at the top by clinching a 2-0 series victory over Sri Lanka.

Australia and South Africa have previously been the number one since the inception of the rankings in 2001.

"Well, it's proud moment as I said. It's not something that you achieve in 15 days' time, or couple of months' time. You have to play consistently well over a period of time to be the number one ranked team in the world. So that's why I feel it's a very special achievement for team India," Dhoni told reporters here on Sunday.

He also expressed confidence that his team would be able to hold on to the number one position for long and would be playing four test matches next year.

"I think there are quite a few other test matches that are getting proposed so I don't think we'll be short of test matches. Of course, at the same time, we have to see what time we have got, because FTPs (Future Tours Programme) are scheduled well in advance, and if you don't have a tournament, and if you try to fix a test series in between two series, it gets really tough on players so we should abide by whatever has been fixed. But at the same time, I think we have quite a few test matches coming. I am also not 100 percent sure about it but I think we'll play more than four," he said.

The Indian team is scheduled to play only two Tests -- against Bangladesh in January - over the next 11 months. A proposal is now being considered to include two Tests during South Africa's tour of the country in February.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tendulkar Guides India To Comfortable Cuttack Victory

India 242-3 (Tendulkar 96no, Sehwag 46) beat Sri Lanka 239 (Tharanga 73, Jadeja 4-32) by seven wickets.

India moved into a 2-1 series lead over Sri Lanka after a majestic innings from Sachin Tendulkar steered them to a comfortable seven-wicket win in the third One-Day International in Cuttack.

Sri Lanka failed to capitalise on an excellent start as they were bowled out for 239 and Tendulkar was unbeaten on 96 as India reached their victory target in 42.4 overs.

Yuvraj Singh returned from injury as Sri Lanka won the toss and decided to bat first and belligerent innings of 73 from Upul Tharanga and 41 from Tillakaratne Dilshan appeared to be setting the stage for another score of at least 300, but India hit back, left-arm spinner Ravi Jadeja picking up figures of four for 32.

Dilshan's charge was ended when he edged a pull shot to be caught by Dinesh Karthik off Ashish Nehra and Sri Lanka paid the penalty for loading their side with bowlers as they collapsed from 165 for two to be all out in 44.2 overs.

Jadeja returned the best figures by an Indian spinner at the ground by dismissing Tharanga, who faced 81 balls, Chamara Kapugedera (15), Nuwan Kulasekara (10) and Ajantha Mendis (6).

Kumar Sangakkara made a stylish 46 but there was precious little from the rest of the batting as the Indians recovered from a poor start to take control of the game, Ishant Sharma and Ashish Nehra both returning two wickets.

Yuvraj, who missed the first two matches due to a hand injury, replaces Virat Kohli in the Indian line-up which shows two other changes from the last match in Nagpur.

Banned Mahendra Singh Dhoni is replaced behind the stumps by Karthik and as captain by Virender Sehwag while Praveen Kumar is left out in favour of Sharma.

Kulasekara returns for Sri Lanka at the expense of Suranga Lakmal while the absence of Angelo Mathews through injury means the tourists have opted to load their team with bowlers, Lasith Malinga returning.

Malinga was the last man to fall when he was bowled attempting an expansive drive off Nehra having made 13.

Sehwag then matched and surpassed Dilshan by smashing 46 in 28 balls to get India's run-chase off to an exciting start, the captain hitting nine fours before cutting Chanaka Welagedara into the hands of Dilshan, who clung on at the second attempt at gulley.

Tendulkar then added 72 with Gautam Gambhir, who made 32, for the second wicket as the runs continued to flow easily and it took a superb return catch by off-spinner Suraj Randiv to get rid of Gambhir and although Yuvraj Singh edged Welagedara to Sangakkara for 23, Tendulkar's progerss was unstoppable.

He unleashed a number of trademark cover drives and wristy flicks through the leg-side to assert his dominance on a flagging Sri Lankan attack and keep India in complete control.

Karthik hurried India towards victory with an unbeaten 36 in 32 balls, including the winning runs, a flick for four on the leg-side that beat Sangakkara that not only denied Sri Lanka the win, but also denied Tendulkar a century - for the first time in ODIs, he finished the match unbeaten in the 90s.

Welagedara was again the pick of the Sri Lankan bowlers and he finished with two for 35 while Randiv's economical spell saw him finish with one for 33 but of concern to Sri Lanka was the lack of either control or penetration from Kulasekara, Malinga and Mendis, who between them conceded 169 runs in 26.4 overs for no wickets.

The fourth match of five is in Kolkata on 24th December.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ind vs SL 3rd ODI live

Ind vs SL 3rd ODI live at Cuttack will start at 2:30pm today. Currently both team are equal in the series and having 1 point each. The major fact about today’s game will be the absence of India Captain MS Dhoni, who is banned for two matches due to slow over rate in previous ODI.

In SL team Angelo Mathews will be missing who helped Sri Lanka to win 2nd ODI due to his injured leg. Thissara Perera will replace him in 3rd Ind vs SL ODI. Yuvraj can join the squad by replacing Virat Kohli as he seems fit and can make middle order strong in the absence of MS Dhoni.

The major issue for India is still the fielding. The figure become twice in the previous match of loosing catches. Dinesh Kartik is going to replace MS Dhoni. There are also some chances of changes in bowling and Ishant can replace Praveen Kumar.

For Updated Score and and Latest Updates go at the Comments Section Below.

India Team: V. Sehwag (captain), S. Tendulkar, G. Gambhir, Y. Singh/V. Kohli, S. Raina, D. Karthik (wicket keeper), .R. Jadeja, H. Singh, Z. Khan, I. Sharma, A. Nehra.

Sri Lanka Team: U. Tharanga, T. Dilshan, K. Sangakkara (captain & wicket keeper), M. Jayawardene, T. Kandamby, S. Jayasuriya, S. Randiv, N. Kulasekara/S. Lakmal, A. Mendis, C. Welegedara, L. Malinga.

India vs Sri Lanka 2rd ODI live cricket score can be seen in the right side bar of our website. Neo Cricket and DD National (Doordarshan) channel will show live match on TV in India. Willow Tv and CricketNirvana will provide paid live cricket stream of India vs Sri Lanka 3rd ODI today.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ind vs Sl 2nd ODI cricket live score, latest updates

Team India has a good record at the Nagpur stadium against Sri Lanka, with India having played 12 ODIs here and winning 6 of them. Latest news, updates is that Yuvraj won't be playing today. Check out for Cricket live score.

India Vs Srilanka 2nd ODI will be played at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, after the match was shifted from Vizag due to the Telangana issue in Andhra Pradesh. The Ind vs Sl 2nd ODI will start at 2:30pm IST and the match can be seen live on Neo Channel and DD National (Doordarshan). Cricket Nirvana and Willow TV will show the online live cricket streaming of the 2nd ODI between India and Sri Lanka.

The men in blue, Team India won the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka in Rajkot by just 3 runs. With India already winning the 1st ODI and taking a 1-0 lead in the 5 ODI match series, Sri Lanka would very much want to bounce back strongly and thus level the series 1-1.

The Nagpur pitch is the same pitch where the Sri Lanka scored over 200 runs in the 1st T20 runs, which they won by 29 runs. However, Sri Lanka would be under pressure as they won’t be having Muttiah Murlidharan and Dilhara Fernando in the playing eleven, because of injury. Sangakkara would be hoping that his good form with the bat continues and would even want Dilshan and Jayasuriya to give them a solid start.

Yuvraj Singh would also be not playing in the 2nd ODI as he is down with flu. However, Sehwag has been declared fit and would be playing in today’s match. MS Dhoni who is in a good form, would again want Sehwag and Tendulkar to fire at the top.

Team India has a good record at the Nagpur stadium against Sri Lanka, with India having played 12 ODIs here and winning 6 of them. On the other hand the Sri Lankan’s have played 3 matches and have faced defeat in all of them.

The toss would be crucial in the 2nd odi between Ind and Sl as it’s a day night affair and the dew factor would come into play in the second half of the cricket match. However, one need not be surprised if the captain winning the toss, opts to field first.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ICC Confirms 2011 World Cup Groupings

ICC Confirms 2011 World Cup Groupings
The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board members have finalised the groups for the 2011 World Cup, which will be held in Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

The 14-team tournament sees the competing nations split into two groups - reigning champions Australia are joined in Group A by Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya with Group B comprising India, South Africa, England, the West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands. The top four sides from each group will then progress to a straight knockout stage of quarter-finals, semi-finals and then the final.

On the final day of their two-day board meeting in Johannesburg, the board also approved the schedule for the 2010 ICC Under-19 World Cup, which was recently shifted from Kenya to New Zealand and a working group was set up to analyse other sport and entertainment products in order to continue to enhance and improve the promotion of cricket.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat will chair this group which will include representatives from each Full Member country.

Day one of the meeting saw Principal Advisor IS Bindra encourage Full Members to play competitive cricket in developing countries, notably the USA and China and a draft proposal of a new Future Tours Programme was approved in principle.

A new and enhanced ICC Code of Conduct, Anti-Corruption and Anti-Racism was unanimously approved on day one.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Katich, Watson, Hussey Keep Australia In Charge

Australia 339-3 (Katich 99, Watson 89, Hussey 81no) v West Indies.

Half-centuries from Simon Katich, Shane Watson and Michael Hussey enabled Australia to have the better of the opening day of the third and final Test against the West Indies in Perth.

Katich fell one short of a century, Watson made 89 and Hussey was unbeaten on 81 as they closed on an imposing score of 339 for three.

However, that was tempered by the loss of Ricky Ponting, who had to retire hurt on 23 having been hit on the arm by fast bowler Kemar Roach and the cheap dismissal of Michael Clarke, for 11.

Katich and Watson put on 132 for the first wicket but both would fall within sight of centuries, Katich out for 99 for the second time in his Test career when he was caught by Roach off Sulieman Benn, after Roach had Watson caught by Denesh Ramdin.

Clarke was caught by Chris Gayle off Narsingh Deonarine, who replaces the injured Shivnarine Chanderpaul in the side. Adrian Barath also misses out with Travis Dowlin back in the side and Gavin Tonge making his debut in place of Darren Sammy.

Clinton McKay makes his debut, replacing Peter Siddle, for Australia, who lead the series 1-0.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Sri Lanka Fined For Slow Over-Rate In Second T20

SriLankaSri Lanka have been fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during the second and final Twenty20 International against India in Mohali.

Kumar Sangakkara's men were beaten by six wickets in the match, after Virender Sehwag (64) and Yuvraj Singh (60 not out) helped India draw the series.

As captain, Sangakkara was fined 40 percent of his match fee because his side were deemed to be two overs short of their target and the rest of his players were fined 20 percent.

“Kumar was kept informed throughout the match by the on-field umpires of where his team was with its over-rate. Under the revised code of conduct, Sri Lanka was very close to being three overs behind and charged for a Serious Over Rate Offence which would have resulted in its captain being suspended in the next two ODIs," match referee Jeff Crowe confirmed.

The two sides now meet in the first of five One-Day International on 15th December in Rajkot and the second match, on 18th December, has been moved from Visakapatnam to Nagpur due to security issues.

Friday, December 11, 2009

England's Batsmen Find Form In East London

England's Batsmen Find Form In East LondonEngland's batsmen used their penultimate match-day before the Test series against South Africa by scoring useful runs in East London against a South African Invitational XI.

Andrew Strauss (100), Alastair Cook (52) and Jonathan Trott (50) all retired before Kevin Pietersen was dismissed for 71 as England reached stumps on day one of the two-day game on 317 for five.

Strauss and Cook added 101 for the first wicket before Cook, who scored 81 in the first match against the same opposition, retired at lunch and Strauss went on to reach three figures before returning to the dressing room.

Trott overcame a slow start to reach 50 in 135 balls before he too stepped down but Pietersen, who had already reached his half-century, continued, and his 71 came in 101 deliveries with 12 fours before he was caught.

Ian Bell made just eight before he was the only other England batsman to be genuinely dismissed which left Matthew Prior, who made 19, and Luke Wright, who hit one, to reach stumps with England five down.

The first of four Tests against South Africa begins on 16th December at Centurion Park and the match is being seen as a final chance for fast bowlers James Anderson and Ryan Sidebottom to prove their fitness after suffering with knee and side injuries respectively.

Graham Onions, Mark Davies and Paul Collingwood sit the game out as Wright, Anderson and Sidebottom play.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sangakkara Leads Sri Lanka To Twenty20 Victory

Sangakkara Leads Sri Lanka To Twenty20 VictorySri Lanka 215-5 (Sangakkara 78) beat India 186-9 (Gambhir 55, Jayasuriya 2-19) by 29 runs.

Kumar Sangakkara thumped 78 in 37 balls as Sri Lanka charged to a 29-run win over India in the opening Twenty20 International in Nagpur.

Sangakkara's brilliant innings helped his side score 215 for five before India hit 186 for nine in reply, Gautam Gambhir top scoring with 55 before their innings fell away dramatically.

The ICC may rate India as the world's best Test team but the way in which Sri Lanka played suggested that they don't rate their Twenty20 attack too much and India conceded more runs than they had ever done before which was no more than they deserved given a truly appalling fielding display.

Onlookers can be forgiven for losing count of the chances put down and sloppy misfields that gave Sri Lanka extra runs but Sangakkara was in outstanding touch, hitting 11 fours and two sixes and he was backed up by innings of 47 in 20 balls from Chamara Kapugedera and 34 in 33 balls from Tillakaratne Dilshan.

Both Dilshan and Jayasuriya (26) were dropped early on before debutant Ashok Dinda had the latter caught, but only just, at third man by Ishant Sharma, who was responsible for putting down Dilshan, having at least five attempts at a caught and bowled that was grassed.

Dilshan and Mahela Jayawardene (9) were bowled by Rohit Sharma and Yusuf Pathan respectively and after Sangakkara pulled out all the strokes with brutal drives, powerful reverse sweeps and some delicate touches, he was run out from the final ball of the innings.

India got off to a wonderful start with Virender Sehwag thumping 26 in 14 balls and the fluent Gambhir 55 in just 26 deliveries, bringing up his 50 in 19 balls, the second quickest in history.

However, after he was bowled by Angelo Mathews with the score on 93, India went into freefall, losing five wickets in 22 balls and whereas India were a shambles in the field, Sri Lanka were assured, taking the chances that mattered as Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9), Yuvraj Singh (6), Rohit Sharma (3), Yusuf Pathan (0) and Suresh Raina (21) swiftly joined Gambhir and Sehwag in the pavilion.

Some lusty blows from Dinda (19) and Ashish Nehra (22) never seriously threatened to get India back into the game but they might have done had they performed better in the field. Sanath Jayasuriya and Mathews both returned two wickets.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gayle Hold the day in single hand

Chris Gayle
West Indies captain Chris Gayle's first test hundred against Australia gave his team a 296-run lead with a day remaining in the second test.

No team has made more than 239 in the fourth innings to win an Adelaide test and if Gayle doesn't declare overnight, Australia might need to beat the all-time record of 315.

The West Indies finished at 8 for 284 with Gayle, who batted throughout the day, on 155 and Ravi Rampaul yet to score after Sulieman Benn skied a catch in the final over off Mitchell Johnson.

A draw remains the most likely result, especially with the possibility of some final-day showers, but Gayle at least significantly slashed the odds of West Indies going 2-0 down with one match to play, reports Cricinfo.

Following Australia's innings victory inside three days in Brisbane, Gayle and the team management kept their players in the dressing rooms for a long discussion, during which they resolved that the same result could not be allowed to happen again.

Dwayne Bravo, Brendan Nash, Benn and Kemar Roach have all stood up in Adelaide and on the fourth day it was the captain's turn to lead from the front. A late challenge from Johnson, who snared Bravo and Denesh Ramdin in one over on the way to 4 for 85, couldn't mask the fact that for most of the day Australia's bowling lacked bite. West Indies could have accelerated quicker in the final session to increase the pressure on the hosts but they remain in a strong position thanks to their captain.

It was an innings of uncharacteristic restraint from Gayle, who for most of the day resisted his urges to hit over the top, and instead scored most of his boundaries along the ground with well-timed straight drives or clips through the leg-side. Australia tried to tempt him early in the day with Marcus North and Nathan Hauritz bowling an outside off-stump line but he was happy to leave.

His century came from 179 deliveries and it prompted a display of clear emotion from the usually poker-faced Gayle, who beamed towards the dressing rooms and swung his bat in joy, having never before passed 71 against Australia.

Team India on top in test

Tem India
It has been a 77 years long stay. Indian cricket team, under the leadership of captain MS Dhoni, reached a historic achievement when it secured 124 points in ICC Test rankings to attain at the top spot. India defeated Sri Lanka on the home soil by an innings and 24 runs, thereby confirm the 3-match Test series win with 2-0. It was the second consecutive innings defeat of the Sri Lanka. Now, South Africa has been consigning to the second place. Surely it was the combined team efforts, as commented by skipper Dhoni did the magic. It was the excellent contribution of all departments of the game- the batsmen, the bowlers and the fielders, which saw the defeat of the Lankans. Sehwag's super performance has merited him with `Man of the Match' and the `Man of the Series' award. Lankan skipper Kumar Sangakara put the defeat due to the shortcomings of their bowlers. Brabourne stadium saw Test cricket returning to it after 36 years where the fans had turned up in great numbers to cheer for the team.

Now, the real defy lies with the Indian boys to sustain the top honor. Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar has termed the side under MS Dhoni to be the best one. It is the combined efforts of the players which has made India proud to be on the number one spot in the Test matches.

Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar expressed his delight at India becoming the No. 1 Test team in the world. It's not just the team and the support staff, you also have to give it to the selection board, who often get criticized, to the cricket board, which has backed the team, which has backed the support staff and the selection committee,".

Friday, December 04, 2009

India in good position in Mumbai Test

MS Dhoni
India took control of the third and final test match against Sri Lanka in Mumbai, with a record-breaking score of 726/9. In reply to Sri Lanka's first innings total of 393, India declared at 726/9, which is its highest score in test cricket. Sehwag was the top scorer with 293, while Dhoni remained unbeaten on 100.

India took a massive 333-run over Sri Lanka in the first innings and all set to press for a win in Mumbai. From here, India cannot lose the match. If they win this test, that will propel them to the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test Rankings.

Earlier, Virender Sehwag missed a milestone by a whisker. He was out for 293 and lost the golden opportunity to become the first cricketer in test history to score three triple hundreds. Sachin Tendulkar too fell short of completing his 13,000 runs in test cricket. He made 53. Laxman scored 62.

For Sri Lanka, Muttiah Muralitharan took 4 wickets, while Rangana Herath took 3 wickets. Sri Lanka were 11/0 at stumps on Day 3. It would be interesting to see whether the Sri Lankan batsmen can withstand the pressure and save this test match.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

India Lead the Mumbai test Sehwag leads the day

Virender Sehwag smashed the second fastest double century in Test cricket and Rahul Dravid completed a fifty as India dominated with the bat on Day 2, in the third and final Test against Sri Lanka, at the Brabourne stadium, in Mumbai, on Thursday.

Sehwag celebrated the return of Test cricket to the Cricket Club of India (CCI) after nearly 37 years with an unbeaten 284 off 239 deliveries, batting nearly six hours and hitting as many as 40 boundaries and seven sixes.

At the other end, Dravid also looked quite comfortable as he finished unbeaten on 62 from 121 deliveries (five boundaries), the two batsmen having already added 222 runs in 224 deliveries for the second wicket.

India went past their own record for most runs in a day, as they finished Day 2 on a mammoth 443 for 1 in 79 overs, a lead of 50 runs, after Sri Lanka were dismissed for 393 in their innings. India's previous best score in a day's play was 419, which they put up in the previous Test in Kanpur.

The day belonged to Sehwag as he registered his sixth double century in Test cricket and his second double against Sri Lanka after the 201 not out he made in Galle last year.

Sehwag single-handedly dominated proceedings on the second day and was involved in two successive double century partnerships for the first and second wickets.

Murali Vijay, playing in only his second Test, played a fluent innings of 87 from 121 deliveries, having hit ten boundaries and a six, before he was dismissed leg before wicket by Rangana Herath.

The Tamil Nadu opener played a vital role in helping India get off to a blazing start as he added 221 runs for the opening wicket with Sehwag.

Earlier, Angelo Mathews fell agonizingly short of a maiden Test century when he was run-out for 99. Resuming on their overnight score of 366 for eight, Sri Lanka lasted 26 minutes on the second day, adding 27 runs before losing their last two wickets in 34 deliveries.

All-rounder Mathews was the first wicket to fall on the second day as he attempted a tight second run to complete his century, but Sachin Tendulkar caught him short with a brilliant throw from deep square leg.

Mathews stroked a breezy 99 from 131 deliveries, having hit 15 boundaries, before his dismissal reduced the visitors to 379 for nine in the 93rd over.

Pragyan Ojha finished off the innings when he trapped Chanaka Welegedara leg before wicket for eight. Harbhajan Singh finished as the most successful bowler for India, with figures of four for 112 in 32 overs, while Ojha claimed three for 101 in 23.4 overs.

On Day 1, Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed 109 from 160 deliveries, inclusive of ten boundaries and two sixes, his second century of the series to give the visitors a fine start.

India lead the three-match series 1-0 following their victory in the second Test at Kanpur by an innings and 144 runs. The first Test in Ahmedabad had ended in a high scoring draw.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

India make their task fine in day 1 of Mumbai test

Sri Lanka finished Day 1 of the third and final test match in Mumbai at 366/8. Tillakaratne Dilshan led from the front and was wrongly given out on 109. Paranavitana and Prasanna Jayawardene made 53 and 43 respectively. Angelo Mathews is batting on 86. For India, Harbhajan Singh took 4 wickets.

The Sri Lankan batsmen played positive cricket throughout the day and scored at an average of above 4 runs per over. Indian fast bowlers were not so effective, while Harbhajan was the pick of the bowlers today. He took four wickets. Pragyan Ojha took 2 wickets.

Sri Lanka would like to score at least 425-450 and put pressure on the Indian batsmen on a turning wicket. Muralitharan and Herath have the abilities to run through the Indian batting order, while Gautam Gambhir's absence may hurt India badly.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

India Ready for the Mubai test and to maintain the 1st place in the test ranking

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid
Indian winning skipper M S Dhoni says that the players will go all out for the series win against Sri Lanka in the 3rd Test. A win against Sri Lanka in Mumbai will do the ruse and it all sets up perfectly with the Brabourne playing hosts. It's a rare prospect for India to hold onto the No 1 position in Mumbai.

After winning the first Test they jumped to the number 1 mark in Test rankings and will become the clear No 1 with 124 points. South Africa will be in the second spot and Australia will overtake Sri Lanka to the 3rd spot.

A draw will also guarantee the top spot separated only by a minor difference from South Africa.

However, if India loses to Sri Lanka in the 3rd and final Test it will be back to square one and India will slip back to the 3rd position with 119 points behind South Africa and Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on Sreesanth following his planetary performance in the Kanpur Test but there was a minor injury scare while the Indian team was practicing in Mumbai ahead of the final Test. Sreesanth injured his little finger of his right hand and was immediately attended to and MS Dhoni has made clear that Sreesanth will be available for the final test in Mubai.

In the meantime, his successful comeback has inspired his Kings XI teammate Irfan Pathan who is also eyeing a comeback to the national fold.

Expectations on Murali

Sri Lanka are backing Muttiah Muralitharan to return to form in the third and final test against India starting on Wednesday, the master spinner's last overseas test.

The world record holder for test and one-day international wickets will retire from the Test cricket next year but the Sri Lankans are hoping he can help them record their first test win on Indian soil to square the series 1-1.

The 37-year-old had a rough time in the first two matches, picking up five wickets at a cost of 396 runs on unhelpful pitches.

"Murali is still the lead of our attack and we back him 100 percent to turn it around and win the match for us," Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara told reporters on Tuesday.

"He's still our best spinner and he still might be the best spinner in the world. When you have that quality in the side you have to back that quality, that ability."

Leg-spinner Ajantha Mendis will miss out as Sri Lanka opt for a more balanced attack after playing three specialist spinners in the second-test defeat in Kanpur.