About the Match
After a terrific performance against Australia, India is now geared up to take on Sri Lanka in a 3-match T20 series that begins with the 1st T20 at Pune on 9th February. While the Indian contingent is shaping up well for the upcoming World T20 series next month, Sri Lanka is also confident of preparing its youngsters for the challenges ahead. The upcoming match on Tuesday is surely to be a thrilling one as the batsmen from both sides will try to come out all guns blazing while the bowlers will be eager to display their prowess on the field with pace and spin tactics. It could be a closely fought contest but the team that can cleverly use its resources and keep a cool head above its shoulders under crunch situations will be better placed to emerge victorious.
Dhoni will lead the side and try to improve his performance with the bat, which has been lacklustre recently; he has established batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Manish Pandey, who showed his class act against Australia, in the line-up who can definitely help the team post huge totals or chase with ease. Kohli has been rested for the series and we will see youngsters like Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Hardik Pandya and Ajinkya Rahane bring out their firepower here.
The uncapped Pawan Negi will make his T20I debut in this series and we can expect the young lad to take wickets with his left-arm spin bowling; Harbhajan Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja bring their versatility and experience to the table and they will be instrumental in stifling the opposition. The pace attack will be led by Ashish Nehra and Bhuvneshwar Kumar while Jaspreet Bumrah, who can surprise the opponent with his right-arm medium spells, can provide depth to the attack.
Overall, they are a motivated lot who have proven themselves time and again under crucial situations especially on home turf; this is a big opportunity for the youngsters in the squad to shine and help the team win the series against a strong side like Sri Lanka.
Dilshan who is suffering from injury will be replaced by Niroshan Dickwella in the top-order; Dinesh Chandimal will lead the side with his experience and skills while players like Danushka Gunathilaka, Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera and other young all-rounders will need to focus on stabilizing the innings in the middle. The Sri Lankan batting line-up consists of several inexperienced players, who will have a huge responsibility to do well here.
On the bowling front, they have spin bowlers like Sachithra Senanayake, Seekkuge Prasanna, Jeffrey Vandersay and Milinda Siriwardana, who can outwit the Indians with their deceptive bowling; on the pace attack, they have speedsters like Dushmantha Chameera, Kasun Rajitha, Dilhara Fernando and others. They definitely have the talent and experience to overcome the Indian batting prowess if they apply their mind and come up with a strong game plan.
Sri Lankan squad has gone through a difficult squad in terms of performance overseas and they will need to come back stronger with a good show here; if the batting line-up can sum up huge totals, then surely the bowlers will stand better placed to outwit the hosts in their own backyard.
Both sides are equally matched but when it comes to confidence on the field, especially in the subcontinent region. Considering the home advantage and the confidence derived from the recent T20 performances, India clearly have the upper hand; the contest will be well fought but we feel that India will emerge victorious in Pune