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MENAFN - The Peninsula - 10/12/2009

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(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Having crowned themselves the number one team in Test rankings, India would look to assert their supremacy in the shortest format as well when they clash against Sri Lanka in the first Twenty20 International in Nagpur today.

The 2-0 triumph and the number one Test ranking also gives India a psychological edge over the visitors, who are still licking their wounds after being spanked by an innings by the home team in two consecutive Test matches.

India have made a few changes in their squad, resting pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and calling up youngsters Ashok Dinda and R Ashwin.

With Test specialists Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman not considered any more for the limited-over clashes, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan and Rohit Sharma would shore up the middle-order along with Yuvraj Singh and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Starting with Virender Sehwag, India have such an array of stroke-players who can simply whip the bowlers around and cart them for sixes and fours with ease and the batting gives the hosts a clear edge. Gambhir would be eager to get back into the groove at the new VCA Stadium in Jamtha after skipping the Mumbai Test to attend his sister's wedding in Delhi.

After being in the Test mode for most part of the month, Dhoni and company are eager to switch gears.

"There are a lot of ODIs to be played in the near future, the T20 World Cup is coming (in April-May, 2010 in the West Indies), so we will shift to that right now," Dhoni said after leading India to the top of the ICC Test rankings. The Sri Lankan bowlers would need to come out with something innovative to restrict the hosts' batting line-up and put a stop to their losing streak on the tour.

The tourists have brought in right-arm sling-action bowler Lasith Malinga, who missed the Test series because of an injury, to strengthen their pace bowling attack which was exposed thoroughly in the Test series.


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