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After almost a month-long tussle, we now have our finalists in Road Safety Series and the final draw didn't prove to be a lot different from what it was expected to be. India Legends and Sri Lanka Legends were the two best sides in the league stage right from the very beginning and are fittingly meeting at the last game of the series. The grand finale is to be played at Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Cricket Stadium, Raipur on Friday, March 21, 2021.
India Legends were undoubtedly the best team of the tournament at the end of the league stage and their top-of-the-table finish reflected that. The only defeat they faced came at the hands of England in a match wherein Kevin Pietersen found his vintage touch and thrashed Indian bowlers all around the park. Apart from that, India look pretty fluent as they won five of their six scheduled matches.
India are coming into the finale on the back of a superb win over West Indies in a match, in which the whole of India's top-order scored runs with considerable ease. India now have almost each of their batsmen amongst the runs and that is one of the major things that differentiates India from the rest of the teams in the tournament. Besides that, most of India's players are still pretty young and fit, making India one of the most athletic sides of the tournament.
While India have been a little too inconsistent with the ball, their batting has taken care of it. Irfan Pathan, R Vinay Kumar, Manpreet Gony, and Pragyan Ojha shoulder the loads with the ball. Considering that Sri Lanka's power rests mainly at the top, a lot will depend on how Indian seamers do in the upcoming match. If they can do well and batsmen continue to do how they have done, it should be a cakewalk for the Indian Legends.
V Sehwag, SR Tendulkar, Y Singh, YK Pathan, S Badrinath, N Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Manpreet Gony, RV Kumar, Pragyan Ojha, Munaf Patel.
Sri Lanka Legends have had a remarkable journey in the tournament thus far. Most of their players looked far from their best, but Sri Lanka kept on racking wins. TM Dilshan had a huge role to play in Sri Lanka's progress in the tournament as he contributed massively in both departments of the game.
After Sanath Jayasuriya got injured, the onus was on TM Dilshan to keep Sri Lanka afloat in the tournament and he played his part to perfection. Dilshan has been Sri Lanka's leading run-scorer and his performance will hold the key for Sri Lanka's fortunes in this upcoming encounter. Other than him Upul Tharanga has done and could be a threat for Indian bowlers.
All in all, Sri Lanka have done well, but they'll also remember the thrashing they received at the hands of India Legends. On paper, Sri Lanka are a little too over-reliant on the likes of TM Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, and Upul Tharanga. They would need a lot of support from other players and if that happens, beating Sri Lanka will not be an easy job.
Sanath Jayasuriya, TM Dilshan, WU Tharanga, Chamara Silva, Kaushalya Weeraratne, HCU Jayasinghe, Russel Arnold, Farveez Maharoof, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dhammika Prasad, Rangana Herath.
Even though this match won't be followed as widely as regular matches are, the pressure will be immense considering it is a finale. The team that handles their nerves better will be likely to come out on top. India have more experience available right throughout their lineup and that will be an advantage. Besides, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, and Irfan Pathan are in terrific touch and will be difficult to deal with. For those reasons, betting on India's win should be the way to go here.
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