India pin hopes on fresh legs in Sri Lanka one-dayers

DAMBULLA, August 16, 2008 (AFP) – India open a five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka here on Monday hoping to erase unhappy memories of their last encounter.

Sri Lanka dashed India’s hopes of winning a major title in the sub-continent in their previous one-day international, winning the Asia Cup final by a comfortable 100-run margin in Karachi last month.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his young side needed to be positive against the hosts, especially spin sensation Ajantha Mendis who has been looking virtually unplayable in recent matches.

Mendis did not allow even Indian veterans Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and Venkatsai Laxman to settle in, claiming 26 wickets in his team’s 2-1 win over the tourists in a recent Test series.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Dhoni, who had opted out of the Test series due to fatigue, was confident his side would rise to the occasion.

“It’s an energetic side with youngsters,” said Dhoni.

“Sri Lanka is one of the toughest places to play cricket as you don’t get a lot of runs on slow, low wickets. You have to always stay positive.”

Dhoni is one of the seven players to join the