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30-Jan-2011 12:11:00 GMT
Sri Lanka v West Indies, 1st ODI, SSC

Sri Lanka West Indies Ready For World Cup Preparation

Colombo: Sri Lanka and West Indies not surprisingly, go in to the 3 match ODI series with their World Cup squads.

The only thing that was worth a mention about the Test series between the 2 sides was Chris Gayle's triple ton at Galle. The series had ended in a dull 0-0 draw, with each game being affected by rains. But the visitors would take confidence from whatever cricket that was possible during the series.

The batsmen, who are known for their unpredictability and inconsistency, displayed a lot of grit and applied themselves well in the slow pitches to get sizeable scores. The bowlers too contributed and troubled the Lankans, who are known to put up mammoth totals in their home conditions.

While the home team is without doubt the better team on paper, reputations and conditions count little when the likes of Pollard or Gayle get going.

While the Lankans would want to keep up their image of Lions at home, the West Indies would want to acclimatise to the sub continental conditions in the best possible way - by winning the series.

Barring an injury to Muttiah Muralitharan, only one among them will feature in the playing XI during the World Cup. Could this series determine who will start out as Murali's support spinner? Both fared reasonably well in the domestic limited-overs competition - Herath took seven wickets at 20.85, Mendis six at 34 - and have the necessary variations that batsmen have struggled to pick.

Mendis has the carrom ball among others, Herath has the one that comes in to the right hander. Will it boil down to who's more successful
Ramnaresh Sarwan is happy to be back in West Indies colours and is eagerly looking forward to the three One-Day Internationals against Sri Lanka. The 30-year-old said he is focussed on helping the team in the upcoming series and also to play his part in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

The experienced right-hander was speaking after the Windies had a full training session at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Saturday. The team will have another session on Sunday afternoon as they prepare for the first match on Monday at the historic SSC, followed by the other matches on Thursday, 3 February and Sunday, 6 February.

West Indies have picked opener Devon Smith in their World Cup squad, though Barath might be the preferred option. They have Nikita Miller and Sulieman Benn as the two specialist spinners, and the latter could get the nod with Chris Gayle in the mix as a part-time option.

Teams from

Sri Lanka
Kumar Sangakkara (capt & wk), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dilhara Fernando, Rangana Herath, Chamara Kapugedera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Ajantha Mendis, Muttiah Muralitharan, Thisara Perera, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva,
Upul Tharanga

West Indies Darren Sammy (capt), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh (wk), Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo,  Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russell, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Devon Smith

Stats and trivia

  • West Indies and Sri Lanka haven't played each other in ODIs in more than two years. Their previous ODI contest was in April 2008 in a series that West Indies won 2-1.
  • Chris Gayle is 115 runs away from completing 8000 runs in ODI cricket. He'll be playing his first ODI in Sri Lanka in more than eight years.
  • Murali averages 27.25 against West Indies, his third-highest against a team. He averages above 30 in ODIs with the ball against India and Australia.

Match facts
Monday January 31, 2011
Start time 10:00 local (04:30 GMT)

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