India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sri Lanka counterpart Mahela Jayawardene have both pinpointed Sanath Jayasuriya as the key man ahead of the start of the one-day series between the two countries.
The veteran opener shows no signs of slowing down despite now being 39 and hit a century against India the last time he faced them.
His stunning innings in the final of the Asia Cup helped Sri Lanka lift the trophy and they will be hoping for more of the same on home soil in the five-match series.
Ahead of the opening clash on Monday in Dambulla, Jayawardene has admitted that the form of Jayasuriya at the top of the order is crucial to the hosts' hopes.
"Jayasuriya in form is always a great thing because he can contribute with both bat and ball," he said.
"The start he gives makes a huge difference. If he stays for 10 or 15 overs, you are guaranteed a good start. He is a bit like Sehwag for India. That gives a different dimension to our set-up."
Opposite number Dhoni is also in no doubt who will be the key wicket in Sri Lanka's line-up.
"Jayasuriya can be compared with Sehwag or Adam Gilchrist. It is important not to let them have a good start," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
"They are the batsmen who take chances. They can commit mistakes if you try to restrict them. All these players are very different, but for someone like Jayasuriya, it's important to get him out early."
India have an explosive opener of their own in Virender Sehwag, who enjoyed an excellent recent Test series against the Sri Lankans.
Dhoni, who is back in international action after sitting out the three Tests, is hoping the swashbuckling style of the big-hitting right hander can help the tourists get off to a flying start.
"Whenever he (Sehwag) gives us a good start we have a fair chance of winning the match," he added.
"A good start is very important in any form of cricket, but it does not mean the entire pressure is on the openers. Sehwag is the sort of player who takes a fair amount of risk. He is a stroke-player.
"He is in a very good nick and so is Gautam Gambhir. They did well in the Tests also and will have added responsibility, but no pressure."
After playing the first two games in Dambulla, the series moves on to Colombo for the final three contests.