Murali Waiting For Another History

Legendary Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralidaran is all set to write himself into the record books when his side meet India in the second ODI in Colombo today.

The champion needs just two more wickets to become the highest wicket-taker in ODI's. With 501 ODI wickets he is second in place to Pakistan's Wasim Akram.

India, on the other hand, will be boosted by the news that opener Virender Sehwag has been declared fit for the match.

Sehwag, who missed the last match in Dambulla on Wednesday due to a back injury, batted more than half an hour in the nets on Friday. He has so far scored 6,124 runs in 196 one-dayers with nine hundreds and 33 half-centuries.

"He (Sehwag) is fit. He made way for a batsman in the first game and a batsman will miss out here," India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni told reporters on the eve of the day-night match.

The opener is likely to replace middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who scored an unbeaten 25 in his team's six-wicket win in Dambulla.

Sehwag's return will also give his captain more bowling options as he has bagged 84 wickets with his part-time off-spin.

Although India rarely looked in trouble chasing a 247-run target in the last match, Dhoni said his side still needed to improve upon their performance.

"There are areas we need to work on. There is a scope for improvement, but a good sign is we are not relying on any individual to win matches," said Dhoni, who led his team to a 3-2 series win on their last tour here in August 2008.

"If one of our top four batsman can stay at the crease till the end it will be good for others as their spinners are good and can make it tough for new batsmen. That we have to keep in mind as a team."

Sri Lanka have an excellent record at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo: they've won 45 ODIs and lost 19 with a win-loss ratio of 2.36.

Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said he did not think his spinners bowled badly in the last game. "I think they bowled pretty well. It was just that we did not put enough pressure on their batsmen. India did not have to take any risks," he said.

Muralitharan took only 1 for 52 in the first ODI but his being so close to the record could inspire him and the rest of the Sri Lankans to raise their game.

Veteran opener Sanath Jayasuriya cracked an impressive 107 in Dambulla and wicketkeeper-batsman Kumar Sangakkara a solid 44 at the number-three position to help them post 246-7.

INDIA : Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Irfan Pathan, Praveen Kumar.

SRI LANKA : Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chamara Kapugedera, Thilina Kandamby, Jehan Mubarak, Farveez Maharoof, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ajantha Mendis, Dilhara Fernando, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thilan Thushara, Angelo Mathews.


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