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India and Sri Lanka battle it out for glory in the final of the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh on Sunday.
The Lankans are in the final for the third time in the history of the T20 World Cup and have never been successful at this stage. But India have lifted the trophy once doing so during the inaugural edition in 2007.
As players prepare for the big occasion at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka, IBTimes UK takes a peek at the three vital players from both camps who could dazzle the crowd with their performance en route to helping their nation lift the coveted trophy.
Undoubtedly the most important player in the Indian lineup, Virat Kohli has been absolutely magnificent in the tournament. The right-handed batsman gets thrilled by the targets set for him to chase and has not failed on any occasion in all the matches India have played so far.
Kohli has three half-centuries to his name and registered his highest tally of 72 runs with a Man of the Match performance against South Africa in the semi-final on Friday. He has raced ahead as the tournament's highest run scorer with 242 runs so far with a strike rate of 128.04.
The 25-year-old had an average game by his standards against Australia in the Super-10 stage, but nevertheless MS Dhoni can bank on this right-handed maestro to pull off yet another match winning performance against the Lankans in the final on Sunday.
While Kohli has been smashing fours and sixes with his bat, Ravichandran Ashwin has been weaving his magic with the ball against rival batsmen. The off-spinner is India's highest wicket-taker in the tournament with 10 wickets to his name so far and needs three more to surpass Imran Tahir's (South Africa) tally of 12.
The 27-year-old has already garnered two Man of the Match awards with his performance against Bangladesh and Australia and could have made it a hat-trick of accolades against South Africa if Kohli had not outshone him in the match.
Ashwin tore through the Proteas' top order taking three wickets beginning with Hashim Amla (22 runs from 16 balls) with his "Sodukku ball" and following it up with the crucial one of South African skipper Faf du Plessis (58 runs from 41 balls), as both players threatened to set a difficult total for India to chase.
Against Bangladesh, he just conceded 15 runs in four overs taking two wickets and improvised further against Australia by conceding just 11 runs, bowling 3.2 overs and taking four wickets.
Whether he manages to surpass Tahir's haul or not is a different question, but Ashwin's contribution with the ball will certainly play a crucial role in arresting the Sri Lankan batsmen from bolstering the numbers on the scoreboard.
Another spinner, but needless to say India's spin attack has seen them register a five-match winning run in the tournament so far.
Amit Mishra who was recognised only by the Indian cricketing fan bases, had never appeared in a World Cup tournament in any format for his country. However, featuring in the T20 World Cup has not made him nervous in any sense.
The 31-year-old is just one short of Ashwin's tally of 10 wickets and does not boast a superior economy rate above his compatriot. However, Mishra began the tournament with two Man of the Match performances in the opening two matches against Pakistan and West Indies where he took two wickets in each game.
He held an economy rate of 5.5 runs against Pakistan and even succeeded in delivering a maiden over among the four he bowled. The leg-spinner bettered his economy rate against West Indies by conceding just 4.5 runs per over.
Mishra's only dip in performance came in the previous clash against South Africa where he conceded 36 runs in three overs without taking a single wicket.
Dhoni will certainly be hoping that Mishra can avoid a repeat of his performance from the semi-final and not allow the Lankan batsmen any advantage against his spin.
Mahela Jayawardene, a top order batsman for Sri Lanka is one of the most experienced players in the lineup.
The right-handed batsman has only one commendable performance in this year's World Cup scoring 89 runs from 51 deliveries against England although his knock ended in vain as Sri Lanka went on to lose the match.
However, he is their highest scorer overall in the tournament with 134 runs from five matches, holding a strike rate of 131.37.
Although, he was unlucky to have got out without facing a single ball against West Indies the 36-year-old does carry the expectations of his compatriots who will be hoping he chips in with a fine performance against India.
A middle-order batsman and a medium paced bowler by nature, Angelo Mathews has stepped up to help his team in times of need.
The 26-year-old has performed with both the bat and ball; with cameos against South Africa and West Indies in the Super-10 and semi-final respectively. His knock of 40 runs from 23 balls helped Sri Lanka post a target of 161 for the West Indians to chase earning him his second Man of the Match accolade of the tournament.
Mathews' first Man of the Match performance includes a three-wicket haul against Netherlands where he conceded 16 runs in four overs collapsing the Dutch batting lineup for a total of just 39 runs.
Although he is not one of their main bowlers, his overall ability as an all-rounder is highly precious if Sri Lanka intend to counter the threat of Rohit Sharma, Kohli, etc.
Having played only two matches in the ongoing T20 World Cup, Rangana Herath stormed ahead as the second highest wicket-taker for Sri Lanka with a Man of the Match performance against New Zealand in their last Super-10 fixture.
The 36-year-old not only managed to grab five wickets, he also played a role in the two run-outs of openers Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson, helping the Lankans windup the Black Caps' innings for just 60 runs.
Herath only conceded three runs and managed two maiden overs from the 3.3 overs that he bowled. However, he failed to repeat his wicket-taking feat against West Indies in the semi-final and conceded 27 runs in four overs.
Nevertheless, Herath's contribution will be important for Sri Lanka who aim to surprise favourites India from emerging triumphant at their expense in the tournament.
- Sports & Recreation
- Sri Lanka
- Virat Kohli
- T20 World Cup
- South Africa
- Ravichandran Ashwin