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Sangakkara calls Sri Lanka to play with 'arrogance' against India

London [UK] : Former skipper Kumar Sangakkara has said that Sri Lanka should play with arrogance in their upcoming Champions Trophy encounter against defending champions India at the Oval on Thursday.

Sri Lanka find themselves in a do-or-die situation after being thrashed by South Africa in their opening match.

"I would personally like this young Sri Lanka side to walk out at The Oval and play with the arrogance and abandon of youth," Sangakkara wrote in his column for the International Cricket Council (ICC).

"They should express their talent and play a really positive brand of cricket. If they are able to do this, then they have a chance of pulling off an upset, but it will not be easy an India team that so confidently overwhelmed Pakistan on Sunday," he added.

The islanders had a nightmare start to their campaign, losing regular skipper Angelo Mathews to a calf injury before going down to South Africa in their Group B opener. And they also lost their stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga who has been suspended for two matches for team's slow over rate in the Proteas defeat.

And Sangakkara feels the situation is not an ideal one for Sri Lanka.

"If Angelo, Sri Lanka's best batsman and captain, is deemed unavailable for this vital clash, it could
severely hamper the team's chances of winning against India," he said.

"Even if Angelo is considered fit, the threat of slow over-rate will be a major concern. Having Tharanga suspended is a huge waste," he added.

The former wicketkeeper-batsman further blamed the seniors for Tharanga's suspension.
"With quite an experienced and senior bowling attacked led by Lasith Malinga, a team constituting two spinners, it is unacceptable that Sri Lanka was over by 39 minutes," he said.

"Even though the captain is penalised more for such offences, it should be the responsibility of senior bowlers to push themselves to properly address and rectify the situation. The wicket-keeper and fielders also have to play their part with sustained urgency," he added.

The former skipper further stated that Sri Lanka will have to regroup and rethink its make-up and strategy, and take heart from the few positives from their outing against South Africa, in particular a strong fielding effort, smart execution of bowling, and the flamboyance of Niroshan Dickwella.

"It will be looking as a team to execute its basics as soundly as well as it can, hoping that when coupled with its individual skill and talent, this will suffice to beat India," he said.

Sangakkara also heaped praise on Indian bowling, saying, " India's bowling has been a revelation in recent years in the sense that, while earlier its strength laid in the spinners it had in its ranks, right now it also has a varied and highly effective pace attack."

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