Whole world expects Indian win, says Sangakkara
MUMBAI - Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara ramped up the pressure on World Cup final opponents India on Friday by claiming the whole world expected them to win the showpiece match.
India will try to become the first nation to win the title on home soil at the Wankhede Stadium and so fulfil the dreams of millions of fans, all hoping the team can add to the 1983 success of Kapil Dev's side.
"They've always been the favourites, they've got the best batting line-up in the world and some fantastic bowlers," said Sangakkara, one of world cricket's shrewdest captains.
"So I think everyone in the world expects them to turn up tomorrow and win this game."
He added: "I don't think we're underdogs as such. I think we're a pretty good unit. "But we have to understand the fact India, for the last year or two years, have been tagged as the favourites by almost everyone to win the World Cup. "I'm sure they'll be looking at themselves as favourites too. We're just going to come and play as well as we can." This will be Sri Lanka's second consecutive final and third in all -- they lost in 2007 to Australia, whom they beat in the climax of the 1996 tournament.
They were all but out of the contest in Barbados four years ago after Australia's Adam Gilchrist's whirlwind 149 -- the highest ever individual score in a World Cup final.
"Four years ago we were outdone by a fantastic innings by Adam Gilchrist. Hopefully we won't allow a repeat of that but even if that does happen, we've got to have the mental attitude to adjust and get back into the game," Sangakkara explained.
The wicketkeeper-batsman said winning a second World Cup would be of huge significance to the people of Sri Lanka, where a two-decades long civil war only came to an end in 2009.
"We've come through a very toug period, a lot of people have laid down their lives for our country,” he said.