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The Nidahas trophy 2018 has come alive after Bangladesh’s spectacular victory over Sri Lanka. All the three teams are equal on points and separated only by net run rate. Any two could make it to the finals. Sri Lanka managed to beat India quite convincingly the first time these two teams met in the competition, but repeating that performance is not going to be easy. India found a better balance with its young team in the second match and should be a much bigger threat.
The hosts scored 214 runs in their last match against Bangladesh and then failed to defend it. How will that affect their confidence going forward? We think Sri Lanka will treat that loss as a one-off and move on quickly.
There are plenty of positives to build on despite that loss. Kusal Perera has continued his consistent form and is scoring runs at an unbelievable strike rate. 140 runs from two innings puts him just five runs behind Shikhar Dhawan as the leading run scorer in the tournament.
Kusal Mendis also scored plenty of runs and his partnership with Gunathilaka at the top of the order is going to be crucial. India’s new ball bowlers are young and can be put under pressure which is exactly what the top-3 for Sri Lanka will try to do.
With batsmen like Tharanga, Thisara Perera, and Dinesh Chandimal also in the playing eleven, the Sri Lankans should be looking to outscore a depleted Indian batting lineup as well. There are not too many things that need to be changed with the Sri Lankan batting and perhaps the only change we would like to see is for Chandimal to shunted down to number 6.
As happy as the Sri Lankans will be with the batting, their bowling is in serious need of rejuvenation. Suranga Lakmal must be brought into the playing eleven in place of Chameera to bolster the attack. Akila Dananjaya has also been going through a tough phase and maybe giving him a break would be a good idea as well.
The Sri Lankan skipper is struggling to find overs from his regular bowlers and has to turn to his part-timers much too often. This is something that can really come back to bit Sri Lanka against India.
Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis , Kusal Perera, WU Tharanga, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, BMAJ Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, N Pradeep, PVD Chameera.
A poor loss to Sri Lanka and an easy victory against Bangladesh has left India right in the thick of things. They will now hope to consolidate their position in the tournament going forward. With each team having two matches to play, the possibility of net run rate coming into the equation is a reality. The only way that a team can ensure its passage to the finals is by winning both its remaining matches.
India will need Rohit Sharma to regain form against Sri Lanka and we are backing him to come good. Rohit Sharma is one of the most destructive batsmen going around in the shortest format of the game. A poor start to the series will mean that he is doubly anxious to set the record right.
India will also have learned from its previous defeat to Sri Lanka and realize that they need to score a lot more runs against them. Expect Rohit Sharma to start aggressively and possibly score a big one. Shikhar Dhawan is in the form of his life and will continue to bat as he has been. Two fifties in two matches and the current highest scorer of the tournament, Shikhar Dhawan will be the wicket that Sri Lanka is most desperate for.
India will be concerned about Rishab Pant’s place in the team. Two failures may have pushed him to the brink of being dropped in favor of Lokesh Rahul. This management backs young players and so he may get another chance in this match but Pant is drinking at the last chance saloon for sure.
Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, and Vijay Shankar are all looking to establish themselves in the first choice Indian team. They need clear thinking and an aggressive approach to really stand out. We also think Washington Sundar is a player that can surprise the opposition with his batting. His domestic record is excellent and he could be very useful if needed.
The Indian bowling was very good in the last match. Jaidev Unadkat took three wickets but every other bowler was economical as well. Against Sri Lanka, these bowlers will be tested much more but will hopefully have some plans in place.
Both teams have a stronger batting lineup than bowling and can be expected to be put under pressure while on the field.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, SK Raina, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, V Shankar, Washington Sundar, YS Chahal, SN Thakur, JD Unadkat.
A high chance of rain has been forecast for this match. We have been lucky with the weather in Sri Lanka so far but it looks like this match is going to be rain affected. Hopefully, we are able to get a game in and not have to share points with a washout.
The pitch has been excellent in the series so far. The batsmen can expect another batting paradise if they do in fact get to play on it.
Sri Lanka reversed a run of losses against India in the last match. They now have one win in their last five matches against India and would love to improve that record further. While we think that Sri Lanka is a highly improved side, India should still be able to win this match.