About the Match
India and Sri Lanka will go head to head in an Asia Cup fixture which will probably decide the fate of the two teams in this tournament. A win to India is likely to see them through to the finals while Sri Lanka will be left for dead in the tournament.
The green tracks in Shere Bangla National Stadium are turning into a paradise for fast bowlers where every pacer looks like a Xerox copy of Wasim Akram. On the contrary, Indian batsmen do not seem to catch up any problems on Bangladeshi pitches. Dhoni XI did stutter a little against Muhammad Amir’s lethal swing, but the ever reliable Kohli safeguarded their cause.
Contrariwise, Sri Lanka is battling hard to put together a decent showing so far in the tournament. Their batting lineup has been a tale of stumbles, foundering more often than not against the most modest bowling attacks.
MS Dhoni and company have no reason to lose in this game unless a blunder comes into play. The opener, Rohit Sharma, scored 83 in the opening match while Virat Kohli is as resilient as ever, scoring two centuries and six fifties in his last twelve games. He stood like a brick wall against the Pakistani attack to safely drag the game home and make sure India does not find itself in an ambiguous situation.
Pandya and Bumrah, the two medium pacers, along with Ashish Nehra have found a good rhythm at Shere Bangla Stadium. Ashwin and Jadeja will complement pacers on the fast tracks as they have done in the previous two games. Overall, Indian squad looks like an excellent package and the strongest to lift the Asia Cup this year. Since Indian pacers are usually instructed to stick to the good length spot, they will pose a tough challenge for the Sri Lankan batsmen who are not very sound, technically.
SRI LANKAN TEAM:
Coming off from a thumping by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka does not boast a winning chance unless Malinga is declared a 100% fit to play. Angelo Mathews, the skipper, is leading a side which is in the shadows of two retired legends, Mahela and Sangakkara. This time is more or less a rebuilding phase for the team and a better option for Matthews would be to try out everything he can to settle his combination for the upcoming World T20.
Sri Lanka is usually a tougher team in T20’s and has a track record of four wins and five losses against India. Unlike their recent dip in form, the Lankan Tigers have the most prolific track record in T20s. They won a tightly contested game against UAE in the tournament. However, the Malinga-less side was served a massive blow against Bangladesh, who outclassed them in every department and stole away the game from the mighty Lankans.
PLAYERS TO IMPACT THE GAME:
Most certainly, the sloggers like Dhoni and Yuvraj would be the ugliest bets since the pitches are greener, and hard hitting won’t come smoothly. Any batsmen on such a pitch would have to judge the projection of the ball or read hands. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are the two strongest candidates to score runs here.
Regardless of the odds that are favoring India, a Malinga-full Sri Lanka can fancy a win in this fixture. Lasith’s T20 records speak for itself. He has proved it time and over again how demolishing he can be against any opposition when in form. There are injury concerns regarding him though, and Matthews would rather conserve Malinga’s energies for the forthcoming World T20. The uncertainty surrounding Malinga’s game time deduces that the safest bet would be Dinesh Chandimal, who has scored five 30 plus scores and two half-centuries in his last ten T20 games, remaining the top scorer against UAE in a crucial win.
It is going to be an Indian victory hands down. Only a miraculous performance from Sri Lanka can save their title hopes