ICC Champions Trophy 2013 - India vs. Sri Lanka preview (10:30 BST)

Kumar Sangakkara (credit: ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
India play Sri Lanka today in the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy 2013 at Cardiff (10:30 BST start).

It's been an excellent journey for India to make it to the semi-finals of the Champions Trophy for the first time since sharing the title with Sri Lanka in 2002. Following that win, India have bowed out in the first round of the Champions Trophy in 2004, 2006 and 2009 before managing a clean record this time in the group stage of the competition. 

The journey to the final four started with a couple of wins during the warm-up stage of the tournament, following which they recorded wins over South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan to remain the only team unbeaten in the competition. 

Sri Lanka started off poorly with defeats in both their warm-up games - including one to India - and then losing to New Zealand after being bowled out for 138. The turnaround, therefore, has been remarkable. 

It started with Kumar Sangakkara smashing a superlative, unbeaten century against England to help Sri Lanka chase down a stiff 294 before bowling Australia out for 233 in reply to their 253 in their last group game. Interestingly, this time around it was Mahela Jayawardene who guided the side to a win.

This means Sri Lanka will have both their senior pros, Sangakkara and Jayawardene in full flow going into the semi-finals, against a bowling line-up which has generally not been at its best.

That said, India's batting strength and their fielding prowess more than compensates for their lack of bowling edge and will test the Sri Lankans. Lasith Malinga has continued to remain Sri Lanka's best bowler but India's recent record against him has been exemplary, which could push likes of Shaminda Eranga and Nuwan Kulasekara to do the early damage against India.

Shihar Dhawan remains India's batsman to watch out.

The winners will play England in the final.


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ICC Champions Trophy 2013 - India vs. Sri Lanka preview (10:30 BST)

India play Sri Lanka today in the second semi-final of the Champions Trophy 2013 at Cardiff (10:30 BST start).

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