Amit Kumar
 
Both the Asian giants—India and Sri Lanka—have locked their horns for the final assault at Mumbai. And it is the first time when the two neighbours would contest in finals of the World Cup history.

Dhoni and his brigades has the golden opportunity to repeat the 1983 history at the ballistic hustled and bustled Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. The venue with a capacity of 34,000 is eagerly waiting for this ‘Mahayudh’ between India and Sri Lanka.

After registering a scintillating fifth consecutive win over Pakistan in world Cups, India have already won hearts of the nation and with boosted moral, the Team is also on high spirits to challenge the opponents.

Both the teams already have the World Cup winning tag, and will eye the second one. Young captains of both the teams with new enthusiasm and battle guns are geared up for the World Cup war.

Under the leadership of Kapil Dev in 1983, India lifted the World Cup, while Arjun Ranatunga earned the glory for Sri Lanka in 1996. Both the captains of the rival teams must be dreaming to repeat the feat.

Team India throughout the tournament have already given the impression of withstanding the pressure better than Lankans, whose middle order has failed to click yet.

The top order of both the teams is on the top in the run-scoring charts. Sri Lanka have their top three batsmen in the Top 5 run scorers of this World Cup, with Tillakaratne Dilshan (467 runs) leading the tally, Kumar Sangakkara (417 runs) and Upul Tharanga (393 runs) are at number four and five respectively.

For Men in Blue, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is very close to being the leading run scorer as he is three runs behind Dilshan (464 runs). India have two more batsmen in the Top 10, with devastating Virender Sehwag (380 runs) and Yuvraj Singh (341 runs) at numbers six and eight respectively.

India have the distinction of having two more batsmen, Gautam Gambhir (296 runs) and Virat Kohli (247 runs) at numbers 15 and 20.

India will need to take early wickets as the Sri Lankan top order have stunning averages — Sangakkara topping the league with 104.25, and Dilshan (66.71) and Tharanga (65.50), who can create big problem for them.

On the bowling front, Zaheer Khan (19 wickets) and Yuvraj Singh (13 wickets) have already brought laurels for India.

While “Turbunator” Harbhajan Singh with an economy of 4.41, heads the list for India. He has troubled batsmen with his bowling and scalped some important wickets at the crucial stages.

However, India should not forget other three ‘M’s—Mendis, Mallinga, and Mathews— which can be a major hiccup for Indian batting.

There will be a lot at stake for India and Sri Lanka, as the world's leading batsman Sachin Tendulkar- the highest run-getter in Tests and one-dayers and Muttiah Muralitharan - the top wicket-taker in both formats, will have the last opportunity to become the part of a World Cup-winning squad.

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar is also seeking his 100th international century. As he is playing at his home ground, therefore the expectations are high for the legend to show his most anticipated mammoth achievement.
 
Let’s have a look at performance between India-Sri Lanka in the past:

ODI Head to Head: Both the countries have played 128 One day Internationals so far, out of which India registered their win in 67, while Sri Lanka won 50, and No Result: 11.

Results in last five head-to-head ODIs:

22 Jun 2010 (Dambulla): Sri Lanka won by seven wickets
24 Jun 2010 (Dambulla): India won by 81 runs
16 Aug 2010 (Dambulla): India won by six wickets
22 Aug 2010 (Dambulla): Sri Lanka won by eight wickets
28 Aug 2010 (Dambulla): Sri Lanka won by 74 runs
 
At Wankhede: Both the countries have played twice. They are tied at 1-1. India won the first encounter by 10 runs in 1987. In 1997 Sri Lanka beat India by five wickets.
 
Last match between the two: August 28, 2010 - Sri Lanka 299-8 (50 ov) defeated India 225 (46.5 ov) by 74 runs.
 
World Cup Head to head: If we talk about World Cup performances between the two, the overall games played: 7, Wins: India 2, Sri Lanka 4 No Result: 1. Sri Lankans are leading 4-2.
 
World Cup Last meeting: March 23, 2007, Sri Lanka 254-6 (50 ov) defeated India 185 (43.4 ov) by 69 runs.
 
Pitch Report: Mumbai’s Wankhede stadium is considered to be batting friendly; therefore, toss will be the deciding factor. If Dhoni wins the toss then he should prefer to bat first and set a healthy total for Lankans. Spinners will get a good turn on the pitch. And the record shows (11-6) that team batting first has got the winning title.
 
Teams from:

India(Probables): MS Dhoni (CAPTAIN/Wicket-keeper) , Gautam Gambhir , Sachin Tendulkar , Suresh Raina , Virat Kohli , Virender Sehwag , Harbhajan Singh , Munaf Patel , Piyush Chawla , Ravichandran Ashwin , Sreesanth , Zaheer Khan , Yusuf Pathan , Yuvraj Singh , Gary Kirsten-COACH
 
Sri Lanka(Probables): Kumar Sangakkara (CAPTAIN/Wicket-keeper), Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Upul Tharanga, Thilan Samaraweera, Chamara Silva, Chamara Kapugedera, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Dilhara Fernando, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Rangana Herath.