Exactly after 3 years and 3 days from their iconic battle at the Wankhede stadium in the finals of the 2011 world cup, the Indian tigers and the Lankan lions face each other in yet another world title final, this time the battle is for the title of the world champions of the T20 format. Both the teams will face each other in Dhaka on April 6 in what promises to be another great game of cricket between the two sides. (Read: Expect the Asian final to be an absolute cracker!)
India has played a total of 5 games in the tournament so far, winning each and every game comprehensively. On the other hand, the Lankans have lost their only game against the English team in the super tens stage. India and Sri Lanka have faced each other 5 times in the shorter format with India clinching the victory on three occasions, while the Lankans tasted victory in two matches. However it will be fascinating to take a look at the performance of the two teams in important games in the past. (Read: Can Mahendra Singh Dhoni get third time lucky?)
India have featured in a total of 7 major ICC tournament finals, out of which they have 4 and lost two, while the ICC champions trophy of 2003 was shared between India and Sri Lanka due to bad weather. Sri Lanka on the other hand has featured in 6 major ICC tournaments winning only one and losing 4 of them. In fact the Lankan team has lost 4 world cup finals in the last 7 years and this would be their 5 attempt at the finals. (Read: ICC World T20 2014: India’s Road to the Final)
MS Dhoni has led India in 8 major finals and India has managed to clinch the trophy on 7 occasions, with Dhoni’s only loss in a final as captain coming in the 2008 Asia cup finals. Dhoni also has the chance to become the first captain to hold 3 world titles by winning this tournament. It has all come full circle for Dhoni in life as he has come back to the same stage from where he started in 2007.
However the Lankans would be looking to give a fitting farewell to two of their most decorated players in history. Kumar Sangakara and Mahela Jayawardene have been two players who have taken Lankan cricket to new heights. Both of them have seen 4 world cup finals defeat and would be dying to taste success in this final chapter of their T20 careers.
India has always found a way to get the better of the Lankans in the past few years, no matter what the format of the game has been. At the end of the day, past records might just play on the minds of the Lankans more than that of the Indians. The South African team has been tagged with the title of the chokers in international cricket, but it’s the Lankans who have actually deserved it in the last decade or so, losing important matches in major tournaments. Can the Lankans finally find a way to overcome their finals jinx? Only time and performance will tell. But what we can surely expect is a great game of cricket, with these two evenly matched competitors.