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India begin favourites

India begin favourites
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Port of Spain (PTI): Bolstered by their dramatic comeback in the tournament, a rejuvenated India will be gunning for yet another title triumph when...

BhuvaneshwarPort of Spain (PTI): Bolstered by their dramatic comeback in the tournament, a rejuvenated India will be gunning for yet another title triumph when they clash with an equally determined Sri Lanka in the final of the tri-nation ODI series here on Thursday. The reigning Champions Trophy winners may also get a further boost with the possibility of their regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni returning to the playing XI after being laid low by a hamstring injury. A decision will be taken about Dhoni's availability before the toss. Their campaign in tatters after back-to-back defeats in the first leg of the tournament, the Indians fought back with two bonus-point wins to cruise into the final at the expense of hosts West Indies. Despite the absence of Dhoni, who was ruled out after the loss to West Indies in their series opener, stand-in skipper Virat Kohli successfully braved a difficult phase with the 'Men in Blue' rising to the occasion. India entered the final as table-toppers having posted two wins from four matches - same as the other two teams - but they had the advantage of enjoying a better net run-rate. The Indian team composition for Thursday's game at the Queen's Park Oval will more or less be the same. If Dhoni is declared fit, Murali Vijay will make way for the senior player. However, one thing is for sure that neither Kohli nor Dhoni is going to tinker with the winning composition. The Sri Lankans will once again look to old guards Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara for success against a team that has been their nemesis in a few tournament finals, including the 2011 World Cup.Both Jayawardene and Sangakkara have had their share of success against India in the past and it will be crucial from the islanders' point of view that the two veterans click for the team. But it won't be easy for the Sri Lankans as they had just suffered a defeat to India, a result that paved the way for their South Asian neighbour's convincing entry into the title clash ahead of the hosts. Though they haven't really set the Caribbean islands ablaze with their exploits, India's batting still wears a formidable look with the in-form Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma opening the innings.
TEAMS
India : Virat Kohli (capt), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Suresh Raina, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ambati Rayudu, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Sri Lanka : Angelo Mathews (capt), Kusal Perera, Upul Tharanga, Kumar Sangakkara, Lahiru Thirimanne, Mahela Jayawardene, Jeevan Mendis, Ajantha Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Sachithra Senanayake, Rangana Herath, Dilhara Lokuhettige and Shaminda Eranga. Match starts at 7 pm (IST).
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