Hambantota, Sri Lanka: India's cricketers, already overburdened with a surfeit of international cricket and taxed further through the Indian Premier League, come into their limited-overs tour of Sri Lanka after a rare prolonged break.
For a majority of the 15-man squad, the last competitive game was in late May, the final of IPL V was played out on May 27. A few did travel with the India A team to the West Indies, but the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda and Manoj Tiwary haven't played too much international cricket in any case.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni acknowledged that the break had done his team a world of good, both physically and mentally. "Before the start of the series, everybody is looking fresh," said Dhoni. "Everyone is putting in a lot of effort, you see a lot more guys going to the gym. There is more energy within the group, which might otherwise not be the case during a season of continuous cricket. As I see it, this increased energy and freshness, it's definitely a big plus for us."