Back before the World Cup started, which seems like 1995, The Reverse Sweep predicted that India and Sri Lanka would meet in the final - see the links at the bottom of this post if you don't believe us!
It’s not often we get things right here at The Reverse Sweep, so the fact that we did on this occasion leaves us feeling slightly too smug and self-satisfied.
Even Bollywood couldn’t have scripted it any better: Sachin Tendulkar will go for his 100th international hundred in the World Cup final in his home city of Mumbai whilst Muttiah Muralitharan plays his final international match.
So who will be smiling come Saturday evening? Sachin or Murali?
We tipped Sri Lanka to win the trophy beforehand and the form of their top four means we could end up being right. Dilshan is the leading run scorer in the tournament and Sangakkara and Tharanga are fourth and fifth respectively. If the top four don't fire though, there isn't much to follow.
Sangakkara also has the most balanced attack in the competition available with Malinga’s pace and yorkers dovetailing with the wily spin of Murali, Mendis and co.
However, Angelo Mathews has been ruled out of the final – and even though cricketwithballs will doubtless claim that because he doesn’t exist, it won’t matter; Mathews is actually a key member of the side.
Although India have an injury concern with Nehra, they look in good shape coming into the final. But can they cope with the added pressure of winning on home soil – something no other host in World Cup history has achieved?
Sachin and Sehwag are crucial for them. If Sachin does register his 100th hundred the other players will visibly relax, and if Sehwag gets going then Sri Lanka will be in real trouble especially with the likes of an in-form Yuvraj to follow.
India’s bowling has been a bit hit and miss, but was much improved in the semi-final and Zaheer Khan is an inspirational leader of the attack.
It will probably come down to the fine margins and the toss could prove crucial – without stating the bleeding obvious, chasing under lights to win a World Cup would be a tall order for either side if the other has put decent runs on the board.
But we’ll stick with our original prediction and tip Murali to win the day over Sachin – whatever happens, let’s hope it’s a classic.
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