Don't believe the hype
Bumble expects a fantastic World Cup Final if the players don't get carried away in the hysteria.
Last Updated: 31/03/11 1:30pm
I put money on Sri Lanka to win the World Cup back in December, so I've got to stick with them in the World Cup Final.
But I'm afraid there's two players that could test my money in Saturday's heavyweight showdown against India: Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar.
There will be a great performance from somebody in this final and half the world probably wants it to be Sachin on his home ground. I'm sure the Sri Lankans are just as desperate that his poles will go flying first ball and if I want to win my bet I might need to lock him up somewhere or try to convince him the game's in Kolkata!
But for me, Yuvraj has been the man of the tournament with bat and ball and he could be very influential. It is not a big boundary in Mumbai, so I'm expecting high scores and plenty of sixes.
From a Sri Lankan point of view, they'll be looking to Mahela Jayawardene, one of my favourite cricketers, and my mate Muttiah Muralitharan. He's had injury worries, but knowing him they'll stick a needle in him and he'll go out and perform.
I'm expecting all sorts of drama because there's not a lot between the two sides. You'd probably say Virender Sehwag and Tendulkar shade it over Tillakaratne Dilshan and Upul Tharanga as openers, but then at number three I'd say Kumar Sangakkara shades it against Gautam Gambhir.
In the end, it could come down to a test of the two captains.
In terms of wicket-keeping, Sangakkara is outplaying MS Dhoni at the moment but both of these guys know how to play the conditions and that will be worth its weight in gold. I'll be looking very closely at how they work the field and the bowlers on Saturday.
Both teams seem to be peaking at the right time, but there's always the possibility that somebody might freeze. You only have to look at Wednesday's game between India and Pakistan for an example of that. Everybody thought Umar Gul would be the influential bowler, but the lad froze.
There is an awful lot of hype here with a million-and-one programmes on the telly with blokes talking about cricket. In fact, I've been watching programmes about tigers and snakes on National Geographic to try and get away from it all!
The players need to step back from the hype and try to perform on the day. In the distant past when I was involved, I always felt the pressure game was the semi-final and things were a bit easier when you got to the final.
If you're a coach you need to try and keep things calm. The players will be pulled from pillar to post for interviews and opinions and the staff need to drum it into them that this is just another game (which it obviously isn't...)
These players have worked so hard to get here, they must make sure they savour it. If it were me I'd have three words up on the board in the dressing room: ENJOY THE DAY.
Hold off the hysteria
There has been a bit too much hysteria on some of the websites I've been looking at.
People are talking about a power shift to the sub-continent and they're readily finding excuses to slag off Australia and England. That disappoints me and I don't think there's any need for it.
Forget about all of that; just enjoy what is going to be a fantastic final to a fantastic tournament. Why not rejoice in what you've got instead of trying to put other people down?
As an Englishman I'm thrilled that both of the World Cup Finalists are coming to England this summer and in the greatest sporting manner, we will be looking to turn them over. It's brilliant for us in the UK that India and Sri Lanka are coming to our shores and those will be contests to enjoy.
One other point. There have been a lot of complaints in India about DRS throughout this tournament.
I bet they've changed their minds after the Pakistan game....
In the box and on the box
The commentary line-up for the World Cup Final is as follows:
If you're watching in the UK I can assure you that the coverage from Sky Sports will have all the bells and whistles on Saturday. David Gower will present from a studio at the ground and he'll be joined by Sir Ian Botham, Michael Atherton and the crew. We'll have extra cameras and it will be similar to what you'd see on a day's cricket in England.
I did three-in-a-row commentary for the first time ever in the semi-final (usually it's just two of us at a time) and it seemed to work well. It was a brave move to do it for such a big game, but I was happy with how it went.
The broadcast disciplines here are very demanding because there are so many adverts. It' s impossible to describe how many there are during a game and we simply don't have the time to debate a point, we just call it.
Thankfully, back in the UK the Sky Sports production team do a great job to ensure it's all seamless when it goes to your screens. Full marks to them.
In other news, I've now been dry for six weeks. I've not had a beer the whole time I've been out here.
I've been in the gym every day pumping iron like you wouldn't believe. I reckon I now look like Popeye.
I must say I'm delighted to be coming home next week, but there's no rest for the wicked. I get back to the UK on April 3 and I move house on April 4.
Anyone fancy lending me a van or a pair of hands?