Sri Lanka wins toss, bowls against India in Champions Trophy

The 30-year-old middle order batsman, who made his worldwide debut in 2006, was dismissed for nought against the South Africans as Sri Lanka lost their Group B opener by 96 runs.

- Sri Lanka have been boosted by the return of Angelo Mathews but are waiting to see if Chamara Kapugedera is fit to take on India, with the batsman suffering a knee injury at training in the build-up to Thursday night's clash.

Read Also: Enough of debacles for Pakistan, feels coach Mickey Arthur The feisty bowler feels India carry a lot of positives into the match, given their dominating win over Pakistan in the lung-opener. "It's very hard to find someone who can nearly touch 140 Ks and who strikes the way he does", Kohli told a press conference at The Oval on Wednesday.

"We are happy to walk in as the underdogs".

"All I can say is, as a team, we just want to focus on what we can do right and the things that are working for us".

Commenting on Sri Lanka's current form and the way they lost to South Africa in their opening tie, Harbhajan said the islanders will desperately miss the services of veteran Upul Tharanga, who was handed a two-match suspension for over-rate offences.

Harsha picks: With the first ball still some time away, take a look at Harsha Bhogle's top three India-Sri Lanka contests. "He understood the dynamic of the side that we picked in the last game and he was absolutely fine with it", said captain Kohli. It's a very hard job on the field, and he has to look into so many things.

Having crushed arch rivals Pakistan, India must avoid a let-down on Thursday and Kohli is confident they will be able to play with the same intensity at The Oval. While Mathews is aware he is in charge of aN inexperienced group, he expects them to rise to the challenge sooner rather than later.

"The guys are learning every single day. If people react to it differently, then it becomes an issue, but if everyone is supportive of it, then you have no issues at all", Kohli said. "H e's had a dream career and it's unfortunate that we don't have him any more".

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan form the backbone of the Indian batting line-up and all average above 40. "You get a good balance of spin and pace, and they're all different to each other, and they've got a fantastic bowling attack", Angelo Mathews said here on Wednesday. The players are very well aware of the areas where they must improve and the Indian team is a very good fielding unit and they will hope that it was just the one odd day where the players had butterfingers. "We will all have to pull our socks up and give a great performance".

  • Julie Sanders