CB Series final preview

After Kohli’s heroics kept India’s hopes alive for an extra few days they still failed to make it to the CB Series final. It’s probably fair in the end, that run chase was the first time they’d really shown up in the entire tour. Sri Lanka’s subsequent victory means part of my initial prediction was accurate: an Australia v Sri Lanka final.

A prolonged final might make things a bit interesting later in the month. Sri Lanka have to return home to face England possibly only 18 days after the match and playing 11 ODIs overseas are not the best preparation for a Test series. (Even at home it’s ill-advised, Australia prepared similarly for the last Ashes.) It’s hard to know if Sri Lanka will be affected by the ODIs or not, but I doubt it will help them. (Obviously I’m hoping it affects them rather a lot!)

I also originally predicted that Australia would win, but Sri Lanka won three of four head to head matches in the group stage. Certainly it will be more interesting than I originally thought. Sri Lanka have, for the most part, done themselves proud, but Australia will have seen India’s run chase in the penultimate match and now know that Malinga has a weakness against batsmen who can repeatedly hit him for six and will be looking to exploit that. I actually think that Sri Lanka looked like the better side in the group stage, so I’m changing my prediction to a 2-1 win for Sri Lanka. (Though that may ensure a 2-0 Aussie victory.) It could be interesting to see how it plays out, but someone idiotically scheduled the final to clash with the first New Zealand v South Africa Test. Guess which match I’ll be watching?

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