Apart from Sehwag and Gambhir, Dhoni can opt for Rahane as opener: Jayasuriya

India, as always, are a strong side but they will need time to settle down and that is where the Mahela Jayawardene-led hosts will look to seize the initiative, writes Sanath Jayasuriya in his column in The Times Of India.

“Sachin Tendulkar will not be there and that should mean that Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will open the batting for India. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, can also opt for the young and promising Ajinkya Rahane if the need be. It will, however, be for the likes of Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary to deliver in the middle. Dhoni, of course, will be there to pitch in when needed,” writes jayasuriya, adding that Sri Lanka have included left-arm fast bowler Isuru Udana keeping in mind the Twenty20 World Cup in September.

“The 24-year-old has a lot of potential and has done impressively in the domestic circuit. He bowls with a lot of variety. He also has the slower bouncer which can catch batsmen by surprise. Confidence will be the key for Udana.”

Meanwhile according to a report in The Hindu, a superb bowling performance by Sunil Narine saw West Indies to a 20-run win over New Zealand in the fifth and final One-Day International here on Monday.
The 24-year-old took five for 28 as the Kiwis were bowled out for 221 in reply to the West Indies’ total of 241 all out, thereby giving the host a 4-1 series win. New Zealand — which left out experienced all-rounder Jacob Oram and was already without several experienced players who have been struck down with injury — saw its top-order batsmen make decent starts before failing to move beyond 40.

Pakistan on Tuesday recalled wicketkeeper-batsman Kamran Akmal, all-rounder Abdul Razzaq and opener Imran Nazir in its final 15-man squad for the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
The 12-team tournament will run from September 18 to October 7.

The squad: Mohammad Hafeez (captain), Imran Nazir, Nasir Jamshed, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Shahid Afridi, Sohail Tanveer, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Raza Hasan, Yasir Arafat, Mohammad Sami.