Sri Lanka vs India, 1st T20: Match Preview

Sri Lanka vs India, 1st T20

India and Sri Lanka prepare to lock horns with each other for another three rounds of limited-over games as the second half of the India tour of Sri Lanka starts Sunday.

The inaugural game match of the three-match T20 series will start from 8 PM IST at the R Premadasa International Stadium. The onus will be on Dasun Shanaka as the Sri Lankan fans will be hoping to see their team make a comeback against their immediate neighbors who have been the better of the two so far

Match Preview

The match will be hosted in R Premadasa International Stadium, Colombo. The pitch is a low-scoring one and does not benefit the team batting second but on the contrary, India has managed to win all the matches in this tour while chasing a total. However, the toss remains a key factor in the game. This slow pitch is not particularly advantageous to the seamers as it does not generate pace off the ball and hence the bowlers have to put in an extra effort.

The average score here while playing a 20-over format is 154 and can soar as high as 214.

Sri Lanka Team News

Dasun Shanaka’s team put up a good fight in the ODI series but somehow fell short in the end. A win in the third ODI looked more like a consolation victory for them. However, Sri Lanka seems to have a lot of good news ahead of them. Their opening order Avishka Fernando and Minod Bhanuka have been very impressive in the last two ODIs. Charith Asalanka, their middle-order batsman has proved to be of use in intense situations.

Having played 3-matches already both teams have been aware of their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses. This will further add up to the challenge in the twenty-over series.

Sri Lanka, very much like India, will field its youngsters this time too. Despite the loss, they have had lots of positives to look up to. The second and decisive ODI which almost had Sri Lanka level with India saw Deepak Chahar do the impossible.

Sri Lanka will field two of its many vital players Akila Dhananjaya and Praveen Jayawickrama. These two spinners have proved to be a threat for the Indian batsmen and it is understood that Sri Lanka’s spin attack might give them the much-needed breakthrough.

Predicted Eleven:  Dasun Shanaka (capt), Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Ramesh Mendis, Avishka Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Karunaratne, Lahiru Kumara, Akila Dananjaya, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Minod Bhanuka (wk).

India Team News

India has been the most impressive side on the pitch. The young set of players with minimum international experience have coped up with the pressure on the field, often pulling the impossible. Shikhar Dhawan and his side will get very little time to cherish their ODI series victory as they will be up against the Sri Lankans once again and this time in a 20-over format.

The three-match T20 series will become much more challenging and gripping to watch. India will supposedly field their mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy who has been on the sidelines waiting to break into the international scene. The right-handed spinner who traveled to Australia for his debut could not make it due to some injury concerns. 

While there have been lots of speculation around the T20 World Cup squad, the time has come when the players will be trying to book a place for themselves for the prestigious ICC international tournament.

Hardik Pandya who did not bowl a single over in the Indian Premier League was given a few overs in the ODI series. Pandya, a bowling all-rounder, has had a difficult time picking up his form recently. He has managed to pick up 2 wickets bowling 14 overs in three ODI matches. A slow start for the right-handed bowler, hopefully, he will be getting more time with the ball in the T20 series.

Predicted Eleven–   Navdeep Saini, Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Prithvi Shaw, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Chahar,  Ishan Kishan/Sanju Samson (wk), Kuldeep Yadav

Stats

India has won 13 of the 18 T20s it has played against Sri Lanka. Five of them have come while batting first. The Indian captain Virat Kohli holds the record for most runs (339) scored in this fixture. While Yuzvendra Chahal holds the record for the most number of dismissals(14).

Conclusion

Unlike the ODIs, this will be a tough contest for both teams. Sri Lanka who won the last ODI match despite losing the series has regained some of its confidence and will be prepared to pose a threat to India.