PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, March 22, 2007 (AFP) – India are determined to ward off the spectre of an early exit and its repercussions as they gear up for their do-or-die clash with Sri Lanka in the World Cup here on Friday.
India failed to do justice to their stature in the opening game when they suffered a shock five-wicket defeat against Bangladesh, leaving millions of their fans back home in a state of despair.
They thrashed debutants Bermuda by a record 257 runs in their second game of the four-team group, but that was not enough to put them in a comfortable frame of mind ahead of their final match.
“I don’t want to say there is no pressure. There is. It’s a very important game and the whole country is looking for India to win,” India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh told reporters here.
“We know it’s an important task before the team. We have to step forward from here and get in to Super Eight. Everybody knows it. We are all focused. The boys are working hard.”
Sri Lanka are the team in form, having won both of their matches against Bangladesh and Bermuda by big margins. Bangladesh still have a chance to qualify for the next round as they take on Bermuda in their last game.
The top two sides will