India Favourites to Win World Cup, Says Sangakkara

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The tired-looking disposition apart, Sangakkara said he believed his team would turn up to do what they do best, despite fitness worries. All-rounder Angelo Matthews will skip the match due to a side strain; off-spinner Suraj Randiv will replace him while veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas was asked to join the squad as backup.

‘INDIA FAVOURITES’

Sangakkara admitted India were favourites to win. “They have got to the finals so everyone will look to the Indians to keep doing that and keep playing as well as they have,” he said.

“We’re not underdogs, we’re a pretty good unit,” he added. “But we have to understand the fact that the Indians, over the last year or two have been tagged as the favourites to win this World Cup. I’m sure they will be looking at themselves as favourites too. We will just turn up tomorrow and play as well as we can.”

Sri Lanka had lost the 2007 World Cup final to Australia after Adam Gilchrist‘s scored a brutal 149. Sangakkara said the lessons from the game have not been forgotten. “Hopefully, there won’t be a repeat of [a Gilchrist-like innings]. But even if that happens, then we’ve got to have the aptitude to adjust and get back into the game,” he said.

‘CONTROLLED EXCITEMENT, CONTROLLED AGGRESSION’ Sangakkara said the team was thrilled to reach the final. “We’re all excited, but it’s nice to see that it’s controlled excitement,” he said. “Everyone’s relaxed and having a laugh but you can also see a steely determination. World Cup final is a huge occasion, so it’s tough to do too much extra.

Since the 2007 World Cup where the Lankans knocked India out in Port-of-Spain, the two sides have met an astonishing 33 times in ODIs. India have had a good run, winning 18 times to Sri Lanka’s 13, while two were no-results. They know each other inside out, get on well on and off the field, and Sangakkara didn’t think they can expect to be surprised.

“For us tomorrow is going to be about controlled aggression,” he said. Not being too emotional about anything. Trying to be clinical and stay grounded and in the moment. Try and plan and execute them as much as possible, but things can change in the middle and it’s important to be fluid.”

‘CONDITIONS DIFFERENT’

Sangakkara said the conditions at the Wankhede would differ from those in Sri Lanka. “Sri Lankan wickets are a bit tougher. Here the wickets are even right throughout the game. We are going to try and adapt to the conditions. It looks a very decent wicket and it looks pretty flat and we need to adapt accordingly,” he said.

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