India and Sri Lanka get together for what is really a practice game for both sides. India is looking forward to the semi-final against England and Sri Lanka are already out.
What that means is there are now plenty of opportunities for some of the younger Indian players like Rishabh Pant to get a big score before the big match ahead.
Yes, India will also get to try out Ravindra Jadeja, who readers may be aware had a Twitter fight with the irritating Indian commentator Sanjay Manjrekar. Manjrekar has been one of the worst commentators to come from India, who is always negative, pessimistic and critical of the Indian team. He is deeply unpopular not just with the Indian public but also with the cricketers.
Manjrekar called Ravi Jadeja, one of the best players to have played for India in recent years, as a bits and pieces player. “I am not a big fan of bits and pieces players which Jadeja is at this point of his career in 50-over cricket. In Test matches, he is a pure bowler. But in 50-over cricket, I would rather have a batsman and a spinner,” Manjrekar had said.
This did not go down well with Jadeja who retaliated, and went nuclear on Twitter.
Jadeja tweeted, and I quote: “Still i have played twice the number of matches you have played and i m still playing. Learn to respect ppl who have achieved.i have heard enough of your verbal diarrhoea.@sanjaymanjrekar”
Well, not very eloquent, but he gets the message across. He won’t be inviting Manjrekar to his birthday any time soon.
But Jadeja is not the only Indian cricketer Manjrekar has had seething with anger. The great MS Dhoni is known to hate Manjrekar with passion and the feeling is mutual.
Manjrekar had said, “Here’s something interesting about Dhoni -. 41 off 87 balls v spin this WC. But in the warm up games 69 off 56 balls v spin. That tells me it’s mental too. He does not put his wicket on the line as much in the big games.”
Not smart! So, will Jadeja and Dhoni get one back against Manjrekar? Sri Lanka is almost a side show here. We will see!
India: 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav/Dinesh Karthik, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Mohammed Shami, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka: 1 Dimuth Karunaratne (capt), 2 Kusal Perera (wk), 3 Avishka Fernando, 4 Kusal Mendis, 5 Angelo Mathews, 6 Lahiru Thirimanne/Thisara Perera, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Lasith Malinga, 10 Kasun Rajitha, 11 Jeffrey Vandersay
The match will be played at Headingley, one of the flattest and slowest tracks in England. Luckily no rain forecasted.
Prediction: India to win easily. See you in the semi-finals.