Can Sri Lanka and West Indies prevent the Indian juggernaut?

Australia v India - Tri-Series Game 7

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s India go into the Caribbean triangular tournament as favourites

The triangular tournament is just around the corner. While you may not know who the primary sponsor is, there are some things you might want to know about the tri-nation tournament.

To start with, I must warn you that it will just feel like an ODI series between Srilanka and West Indies. If fans in the three nations are tired of anything, it must be the two million and fifteen thousand India-Srilanka matches in the last couple of years and seeing a truckload of matches filled with West Indian & Indian Players at the IPL. Leaving those out, most of the fun in this series will be restricted to seeing if the Lankans can hold their nerves against the wham-bham Windies.

I must warn you that you are going to see all reporters talk about the ‘Gayle vs Malinga’ challenge. I wish one of them doesn’t play, so that people would start talking about the 20 other players. It’s an interesting prospect, yes, but after  all the IPL and the focus on Malinga, Gayle, and for obvious reasons, Sir Jadeja, I wish they’d stop talking about the first two of them.

I must warn you that the pitches will either turn viciously, if the Windies bet on Narine or will be flat tracks, where they’d bet on their big hitters. A pacy track against the likes of Malinga and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is premature suicide from a West Indian perspective. If I had to decide, I’d go with the flat tracks. India is better placed to win the series in both the non-crazy scenarios, while Sri Lanka could find it hard to match the prowess the Dhonis and the Gayles bring to flat tracks.

Having said all that, these three are strong teams and you could expect really close matches when these three completely different styles clash. The new Caribbean, pioneered by Dwayne Bravo and powered by the likes of Pollard, Gayle and Sammy, might just upset the Lankan Moai, a bunch of individually brilliant performers forcibly put into a single squad and asked to play as a team.

Neither could be enough to stop the unsinkable juggernaut headed by one Mahendra Singh Dhoni.


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