Columns - Through the off-side

Sehwag will test Randiv's mental strength

By Sourav Ganguly
Saturday, August 21, 2021
It must have been a welcome break from cricket for all due to rain at Dambulla, especially for the Sri Lankans. It must have given them that much-needed extra day to get over the ‘Randiv’ factor, calm their nerves and re-focus on the game.

It should also be a welcome break for the man at the centre of the controversy. He has had to stay away from the game against New Zealand because of the one-match suspension imposed on him by the Sri Lanka board.

Randiv will have to put the entire episode behind him as quickly as possible. His mental strength will be put to test when he gets on to the ground for the next game. All eyes will be on him and the only way to get himself adrift of all these matters will be by performing.

Randiv can rest assured that Sehwag will definitely go after his bowling when they come across each other in the next match. This will be some challenge for the young Sri Lankan spinner.

Rains will not have much of an effect as far as the nature of wicket is concerned. In fact, it will help the pitch settle down after the wear and tear it underwent in the matches already held. Sri Lankan batsmen were absolutely at ease against New Zealand bowling in the Friday encounter.

The Indian bowlers put up an inspired performance in their last match against Sri Lanka. The seamers, as well as the spinners bowled the right line and stuck to a plan, forcing the Sri Lankan batsmen to commit mistakes.

India would like to try out their bench strength, but that can only happen if Dhoni and his boys win the next match convincingly and ensure their place in the finals.

It will be an interesting tussle, as India and Sri Lanka will cross swords immediately after the Randiv issue.

The setting is perfect for an intense game. Sparks may fly but those who keep their nerves under control are bound to come out with flying colours.

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