World Cup Final Preview: Yes, it's the last preview.

Two great players. Two long careers. Two teams (or at least their fans) that are sick of seeing each other.

Two scripts for tomorrow. Who will get his perfect send-off: Murali or Sachin? Who will win in the battle of highest run-scorer versus highest wicket-taker? Who will weep in the post-match presentation? Who will offer a handshake that the other will shun by slapping the hand away? Who will answer all the stupid rhetorical questions?

Find out tomorrow, or today, depending on when you read this.

The Captains: Sangakarra and Dhoni.

There's no need to dish out extensive analysis for this one - it's the final game, we've seen all the recurring themes for both the teams throughout the tournament. So here's all the standard stuff I won't be saying:
  • Get through to Sri Lanka's #5 and #6 as quickly as possible, and you've won.
  • Don't go after Murali, but don't let him dominate you with dot-balls. Attack Mendis/Perera and Herath.
  • India, don't fiddle with batting order. Pick Ashwin, not Sreesanth.
  • Use Munaf in the middle overs.
  • Score a shitload of runs, it's going to be a very high-pressure chase.
India has the best side on paper, especially when you take Mathews off Sri Lanka's team list. This weakens their middle order further, because they will need to pick Thissara Perera as a fifth bowler since Dilshan and Samaraweera are the only part-timers in their line-up and giving them 10 overs would be the equivalent of a buffet for India.

Nehra is out with a fracture, disappointing the fickle fans who would have been glad to see the back of him a game earlier. So since Nehra is ruled out, does this mean we can call up Praveen Kumar? Because that would be brilliant right now. Not to exaggerate his talent or anything, but he is the best opening bowler ever.

Anyway, it's probably Ashwin that will play, unless the pitch offers assistance to the pacers, in which case Ashwin will play. That was a re-establishment of my anti-Sreesanth stance.

I don't have much else to say, except that it should be one hell of a game and may the best team (India) win. Also, you should watch the movie 'Paul', it's hilarious.

My picks: Sehwag, Sachin, Gambhir, Kohli, Dhoni. I can't pick anyone from Sri Lanka because I'm not allowed to. By me.

Ideal line-ups (for me):

India: Virender Sehwhack, God, Gawesome Gambhir, Winrat Kohli, Man-of-the-Tournament Singh, Manly Stuff Dhoni (c)(wk), Sure-ish Raina, Harbinger-of-Doom Singh, Ravichandran Ash-win, Bowling God, Enough Patel.

Sri Lanka: Self-destructing Dilshan, Out-to-Zaheer Tharanga, Deal-with-the-Devil Sangakarra (c)(wk), Lady Jayawardene, Test-player Samaraweera, Who-cares-about Silva, Trundler Perera, No-one Kulasekara, Easy-pickings Herath, Expensive-yorker-machine Malinga, Uninsultable Muralitharan.

Official-looking prediction: Sri Lanka! No, just kidding. India. Tight game. Goggly-eyed bowling. Tears. Failed scoop shots. Dives. Red cards. But, victory for India.

PS. Here's our expert twin babies discussing the final.