Mumbai: The Sri Lankans had finished their practice. They had even freshened up after a three-hour workout under a gruelling sun. Yet they had not left the Wankhede stadium. They hung around on the balcony of the changing room - both coaches and players - silently staring at the Indians training in the distance. It was an act of plain, studied observation. MS Dhoni's India, the pre-tournament favourites, have lived up to their billing and demonstrated over the course of the last 41 days why they are a formidable opponent. In the last week India kept their nerve to knock out Australia and Pakistan. No wonder Sri Lanka are wary.
Down in the middle, the Indians did nothing extraordinary in their final training session. There was an elastic ease about their workouts - in their batting, in their bowling and in their fielding. There was also the intensity that has become a by-word for Gary Kirsten's India. In his three-year tenure, Kirsten has developed a training routine that players like participating in. Rather than treating the practice sessions as chores, the players enjoy them, and that has helped maintain momentum.
Two days after the semi-final against Pakistan, a match Dhoni admitted had "drained" the team completely, India were back on the field with fresh legs and fresh ideas. Playing the final of the World Cup can stir various emotions and spur players and, according to Dhoni, the short gap between the semis and the final was actually an advantage because it would not allow the players to lose their focus.