Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss insists Muttiah Muralitharan will play in the World Cup final despite continued worries over his fitness. Muralitharan, who turns 39 next month, skipped practice on Thursday at the Wankhede stadium and has struggled with niggles through the course of the tournament, including a hamstring injury, a side strain, a troublesome knee and a groin issue.
There was speculation that he would be rested for the semi-final against New Zealand in a bid to allow him time to be fully fit for the final, but he played despite not being in the best physical condition. The final will be Muralitharan's last international game. "Chances are good that Murali will play," said Bayliss. "He completed 10 overs in the semi-final, and such is the character of the man that he will play even with discomfort."
The fitness of allrounder Angelo Mathews is also a worry for Sri Lanka. Veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas and offspinner Suraj Randiv are being flown in as cover for the injured pair, but Bayliss confirmed Sri Lanka had not applied to the ICC to have them included as official replacements. "We have asked for them just to be on the safe side, but Muralitharan and Mathews will be given as long as possible to prove their fitness," he said.
Bayliss was bullish about Sri Lanka's chances of winning a second World Cup title after their triumph in 1996, and suggested the pressure would be on India as the home team and tournament favourites. "We have played good cricket through the tournament and have done well against India in the past," he said. "The pressure will be on India since they are playing at home, but we are familiar with the conditions in Mumbai.
"If we concentrate on what we do the best then we can play some good cricket and if we play good cricket, we are going to be very difficult to beat. This match is 50-50 at this stage. Obviously, there will be a lot of pressure on India to perform at home. We have been able to do that in the last couple of games and come out with two good wins. The boys are quite confident about their chances in this World Cup.
"Yes, we have played India on a number of occasions and have beaten them before on a lot of occasions. [But] it [the final] is a difficult assignment. In the last three years, we have played 35 matches and this will be the 36th one. We have beaten them on a number of occasions. Our guys are confident we can play well and win."
he is atmil so greedey and disrespectful for Srilanka and its people wtelse we can expect from him he is a traitor
IMTHIYAS Friday, 01 April 2011 01:27 PM
This is the SAASTRA of Cricket world cup 2011.best three asian joins the Semi Finals for the first time in the Cricket world cup,India beat Pakistan by 29 runs,Pakistan beat Sri Lanka by 11 runs,Sri Lanka will beat India by four wickets in the finals to lift the Trophy 2011.WELL DONE SRI LANKA
maruvyn silva Friday, 01 April 2011 05:03 AM
@wimal...take me also, i don't want tax payers money...i have my own...
sxhabeeb Friday, 01 April 2011 10:08 AM
he is eying for the most number of wickets in world cup - Mcgraths record..... if i dont know to appreciate i will no call him a legend.... if you have video of Galle test... better you watch it again.....
Helasebala Friday, 01 April 2011 05:17 AM
God or Christ or Lord Buddha have told us to believe in our ability. We should have trust on ourselves. They do not expect us to pray for favours. They have provided all the facilities to us. Physical Organs & Mental capabilities. Thus Go there and deliver!!!!
enlightened Friday, 01 April 2011 05:38 AM
Instead of playing injured Murali, we can give a chance to Vaas whose record is impressive against indians.
DireStraits Saturday, 02 April 2011 02:22 AM
Spam them all! one might take the bait :)
Tissamaharama Friday, 01 April 2011 05:54 AM
Please do not seek divine intervention for Sri Lanka's victory, becuase most of deities are of Indian origin
Maiyaa Friday, 01 April 2011 06:14 AM
Prof: Gunesekara Friday, 01 April 2011 10:37 AM
Pls remeber this is like Sri Lanka's election game to win. Best wishes for the team
Tharanga Friday, 01 April 2011 06:30 AM
Presure always with India.we have good chance of winning toss because sanga lost two toss in a raw..we are going to win this match ...dont worry guys
Maya Friday, 01 April 2011 06:44 AM
Good news Murali. Hope Angelo too would be fit to play. God Bless our team. We love Sri Lanka cricket.
Cobra Friday, 01 April 2011 07:03 AM
Oh, am I glad the old War Horse is there in the final. Good luck Murali, may you take all ten Indian wickets!!!
Hema Perera Friday, 01 April 2011 10:53 AM
All the best Murali. God Bless you. I am sure you can play the world cup final & bring the CUP to Sri Lanka.
dulan Friday, 01 April 2011 07:35 AM
Prags Saturday, 02 April 2011 04:41 AM
lets win this match murali and mathew... you guys can get the cup for us.... all the best SL!!!
Brenan Friday, 01 April 2011 02:07 AM
God bless muttaiya and our team...
Nimal Friday, 01 April 2011 02:19 AM
Good news............100% sure India will have a challenge
Yurican Saturday, 02 April 2011 05:17 AM
Dont say Nation Hero, in Sri lanka offten hero are in Jail.
Fritz Saturday, 02 April 2011 05:31 AM
" GO SRILANKAN LIONS ......! GO...! 20 MILLIONS ARE WITH
Rubbish, total nonsense, I dont know how such people still exist. These are the people who caused the nation a civil war.
taka Saturday, 02 April 2011 06:02 AM
yeah,,,he has nothing else to gain..he's gained them all
SADARUWAN Friday, 01 April 2011 02:27 AM
SUPERB NEWS! ALL THE BEST MURALI!
MagodisThuma Friday, 01 April 2011 08:08 AM
Pray...To which God ?...We ha Thisthunkootiyak Gods !.
taka Saturday, 02 April 2011 06:06 AM
cricket is a funny game my friend
A.Radella Saturday, 02 April 2011 06:07 AM
All the best to Murali & the team,Go Lions Go, We must do it today.
Janith Friday, 01 April 2011 02:50 AM
May the Triple Gem Bless Murali & Mathews and our Whole Team... Nice and Easy.. without big Ha hoo .. Let's do it Boys.
WE CAN.. WE WILL.. WE MUST.. !!!
Nihal Amarasekera Friday, 01 April 2011 08:17 AM
Murali’s mere presence will motivate the team to victory.
Ranjan Abeysekera Friday, 01 April 2011 02:55 AM
Murali, have Faith in God you believe. I along with all Sri Lankans will Pray to Our Father Almighty, to give you the strength to play this one final game of your cricketing career. May God be with you.
Wimal_Modawansa Friday, 01 April 2011 03:05 AM
With Murali or With out Murali Sri Lanka will win.With invitaion or with out invitation we will go for the finals in Mumbai with our contingencies at the expense of tax payers money.
Lanke Banda Friday, 01 April 2011 03:06 AM
Pray Murali will be O.K.
Nuwan Friday, 01 April 2011 03:08 AM
May God Bless You Murali !!! You will spin da Mumbai
wicks Saturday, 02 April 2011 06:54 AM
lions will be sent to jungle
natureboy Friday, 01 April 2011 03:09 AM
bring that cup home boys!
Noah Friday, 01 April 2011 03:13 AM
sandman Saturday, 02 April 2011 06:50 AM
The Boyz in Blue would be easy meat for the Lankan Lions. Mumbai here we come....................................
achala kumarage Friday, 01 April 2011 08:36 AM
Murali our legend we treated you as National Hero
nishadi werapitiya Friday, 01 April 2011 03:19 AM
very...very good news, god bless muttaiya and team srilanka. without any dout our team will be the champian!!!!!!!
Gabriel Friday, 01 April 2011 08:32 AM
All the Best Guys ..........Go Go Go Srilanka
praneeth Friday, 01 April 2011 11:59 AM
Even without murali we can win the match because chamara silva is there to chase any total of runs
hb Friday, 01 April 2011 03:20 AM
A 50% fit Murali is still a threat to many batsmen
Damien Friday, 01 April 2011 07:05 PM
We are gona win the wolrd title guys... lions roar.... wishin you all from our hearts...
ABC Friday, 01 April 2011 03:20 AM
May God Bless You Murali u r the one we hope in sri lankan team thanks god
Janith Friday, 01 April 2011 08:54 AM
lankanumberone Saturday, 02 April 2011 07:27 AM
Muralita inna denna , apita meka kargana pulluwan .
sxhabeeb Friday, 01 April 2011 03:44 AM
A great son of Sri Lanka, should not be so greedy for records... Professionals should have professionalism.... the way he behaved during the last test of Galle untill he get the last wicket..... and now he is unfit to play.... last match against newzealand he gave a away many runs.. cos he could not reach the ball to stop runs... indian batsmen will take on him.... what is important now... playing Mrali or Wining the world cup...? This is my idea... if he is not 100% fit he should not play... let the country win... always murali will be remembered a great legend even he play the final or not.....
Akinahd Friday, 01 April 2011 04:03 AM
god bless you murali....all sri lankans are with you. play and just show how superior cricketer you are, even half fit !!
PennyS Friday, 01 April 2011 12:19 PM
Murali still has his capabilities. This is his last game, and he deserves to be in it. He has brought a lot of pride to Sri Lanka, and has been a genuine person. Let him shine on his last game. As for the team, they are fully capable of winning this, unless they make unnecessary mistakes. I hope the middle batsmen get more confidence, and play a better game than last time. I would be wonderful if we could beat India this time.
edwin deva Friday, 01 April 2011 12:16 PM
Oh Murali! God bless you and Sri lanka, your last moments in ODi will be cherished holding the WC high. Go SL Go!!!
Tonto Friday, 01 April 2011 04:19 AM
Still better - He came, He saw, He conquered.
Bumblebee Friday, 01 April 2011 04:09 AM
Murali like a rugger Player, he never care abut his injury... always playing for the country...
ram Friday, 01 April 2011 09:34 AM
Dont worry cup is ours thistime nextime ..........
Kevin Friday, 01 April 2011 09:37 AM
I wish all the best for Murali who is one of the players did hard work to bring Sri Lanka to world cricket arena and Sri Lanka team as a whole
dirk Saturday, 02 April 2011 08:14 AM
god blass the srilankan team go lions gooooooo....... All the best to Murali & the team 20millions is with u all...............
Yehiya-Doha Friday, 01 April 2011 12:55 PM
If not fit. Very bad for team & his health.
pasha Friday, 01 April 2011 09:43 AM
will ICC amend that law of 18 degree bending after this man retire?
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