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The stars who should make an impact at Wankhede

Friday April 01, 2011 05:31:00 PM, IANS

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Mumbai: Both India and Sri Lanka will be eying glory and their second World Cup crown when they clash in the final at the Wankhede Stadium here Saturday.

India won the cup in 1983 under Kapil Dev's captaincy while Sri Lanka achieved the feat in the 1996 edition under Arjuna Ranatunga.

Legends Sachin Tendulkar and Muttiah Mualitharan will be playing their last World Cup and both will be keen on leaving the Wankhede Stadium with the Cup.

The two teams have other game changers, too.

The players to watch out:

Sachin Tendulkar: Handling the expectations of 1.21 billion people has become a routine for the master blaster, who has had an exceptional tournament. With 464 runs and two hundreds in seven matches, he is the second highest run-getter in the competition and closing in on leader Tillakaratne Dilshan. He fell 15 runs short of his 100th international century in the semifinal against Pakistan and would be looking to get that magical number in front of his home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium.

Yuvraj Singh: The flamboyant left-hander has emerged from nowhere to be the top contender for the Player of the Tournament award. Having acquired the status of a genuine all-rounder, Yuvraj has smashed 341 runs with four fifties and a hundred against the West Indies, besides picking 11 wickets. He got out to the first ball against Pakistan and would be hoping to end the tournament on a high.

Zaheer Khan: With 19 wickets at a strike rate of 22.5, he has been the best bowler for India and has the opportunity to leave Shahid Afirdi behind as the top wicket-taker in the tournament. The leg-spinner has 21 wickets from eight matches. The seamer's stupendous performance has pepped up the other bowlers. Though the pitch is most likely to assist the spinners, the team will rely hugely on him to provide the early breakthroughs.

Sri Lanka:
Tillakaratne Dilshan: The dashing opener is in devastating form and with 467 runs in eight matches, is the leading run-getter in the tournament. Dilshan and his opening partner Upul Tharanga are in terrific form with two double century stands to boot. He has smashed two hundreds and as many fifties so far.

Kumar Sangakkara: The captain has led from the front and has been outstanding with the bat and the gloves. He has amassed 417 runs at an incredible average of 104.25. He also has 13 dismissals to his name as wicketkeeper, the most in the tournament.

Muttiah Muralitharan: The spin king has announced that he is through with international cricket after the World Cup final. So he wants to bow out holding the Cup aloft a second time. He is not 100 percent fit, but he is keen on playing even if he is able to walk. The off-spinner has taken 15 wickets in this edition, the best being 4-25 that curiously came at Wankhede against New Zealand in a league match.







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