About the Match
India drew level with Sri Lanka by winning the 2nd T20 by 69 runs and will now try to take the series when they meet Sri Lanka for the 3rd T20 at Visakhapatnam on 14th February. Batting first, India posted 196 runs as the top and middle order built strong partnerships and then the bowlers successfully defended the total leading to the emphatic win. Sri Lanka will try to bounce back after starting the series on a winning note; the team that can do well in all departments of the game and dominate the opposition will be better placed to win the decider on Sunday.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan posted a 75-run opening stand, batting first against Sri Lanka and the middle order comprising of Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina and Hardik Pandya kept the scoreboard ticking to take the total to 196. Ravichandran Ashwin struck with 3-14 while Jasprit Bumrah, Jadeja and Nehra took 2 wickets each to demolish Sri Lanka and get them all-out for 127 runs and win the match.
In the first T20, the Indian batsmen had failed to deliver getting all-out for a measly 101 runs, which was impossible for the bowlers to defend against the hard-hitting Sri Lankans. They have a good batting line-up with a mix of experienced players and youngsters, who can definitely help India post big totals if batting first or chase with ease.
The bowling attack consists of seamers Ashish Nehra, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah while spinners Jadeja, Ashwin, Raina and other part-timers can provide their skills to take regular wickets. If the Indian contingent can play well against the Lankan bowlers, then nothing can stop them from taking the series.
Thisara Perera created history by becoming the first Sri Lankan bowler to take a hat-trick in the T20 format of the game; his 3-33 helped contain the Indian middle order in the 2nd T20 but the others couldn’t find answers to the top-order batsmen. Chameera and Senanayake took 3 wickets between them but with a target of 197 runs to chase, the batting line-up crumbled leading to a massive loss.
In the first T20 of the series, the visitors had crushed the famed Indian batting line-up to just 101 runs thanks to a brilliant performance by young seamers Kasun Rajitha and Shanaka, who took 3 wickets apiece while Chameera and Senanayake provided good support with 3 more wickets. The batsmen then combined to achieve the target within 18 overs to win the match.
The openers Dickwella, Gunathilaka and Tillakaratne Dilshan have not clicked with the bat yet and they need to come out all guns blazing here; the bowling looks strong with consistent wicket-takers and if they can strategize well against the Indian openers, then they could edge past India again.
Sri Lanka stunned India in the first T20 with Indians fighting it out till penultimate over, but the hosts responded with a massive victory in the second T20 and were clinical in their approach. While the series hangs at 1-1 with Indians certainly enjoying the upper hand as far as team balance is concerned , we feel that the hosts will justify it with the home advantage and the confidence boost from the recent win, are better placed to win the match and take the title