Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Kumar Sangakkara has admitted that Sri Lanka have to play with “arrogance” if they want to have a chance of beating India in their Champions Trophy match on Thursday.
Sri Lanka have had nothing to cheer about since the tournament started as captain Angelo Mathews was ruled out of their first game against South Africa with a calf injury.
Sri Lanka lost that match by 96 runs and to make matters worse, stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga was banned for two matches for maintaining a slow over-rate.
With India being the next obstacle in their path, Sangakkara knows that Sri Lanka will be in for a challenge, especially as the defending champions demolished Pakistan by 124 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method on Sunday.
“I would personally like this young Sri Lanka side to walk out at The Oval and play with the arrogance and abandon of youth,” Sangakkara wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC) website. “They should express their talent and play a really positive brand of cricket. If they are able to do this, then they have a chance of pulling off an upset, but it will not be easy an India team that so confidently overwhelmed Pakistan on Sunday.”
While Mathews is likely to return for Thursday’s match against India, Sangakkara pointed out that Sri Lanka must resolve their over-rate problems in order to ensure they don’t get penalised again.
“If Angelo, Sri Lanka’s best batsman and captain, is deemed unavailable for this vital clash, it could severely hamper the team’s chances of winning against India,” Sangakkara wrote. “Even if Angelo is considered fit, the threat of slow over-rate will be a major concern. Having Tharanga suspended is a huge waste.
“With quite an experienced and senior bowling attacked led by (seamer) Lasith Malinga, a team constituting two spinners, it is unacceptable that Sri Lanka was over by 39 minutes.”