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Playing with aggression is only chance for Sri Lanka to beat India - Kumar Sangakkara

Sri Lanka will face India in a must win game
Sri Lanka will face India in a must win game

Former captain Kumar Sangakkara has urged the Sri Lankan team to play with aggression, if they are to have any chance of defeating India in what will be a do or die encounter for them.

Sri Lanka, who were without their regular skipper Angelo Mathews lost the opening game of the Champions Trophy tournament to South Africa by 96 runs, leaving them in a must-win situation in the remaining two games against India and Pakistan.

On the other hand, defending champions India started the tournament with a resounding win against Pakistan and are one of the favourites to clinch the title once again.

"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 cricket governing body website.

"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."

Sri Lanka also suffered a major setback with stand-in skipper Upul Tharanga banned for two games due to slow over-rate in the game against South Africa. Regular skipper Mathews has declared himself fit for the crucial game but will not be able to bowl.

"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," the former wicketkeeper-batsman added.

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

"With quite an experienced and senior bowling attacked led by (seamer) Lasith Malinga, a team constituting two spinners, it is unacceptable that Sri Lanka was over by 39 minutes."

Both India and Sri Lanka are set to face each other on Thursday at The Oval.

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