Sri Lanka Seek Redemption In T20 Format
Despite the drawn Tests in Kolkata and Delhi and a thumping ODI win in Dharamshala – Sri Lanka have lost both the Test and ODI series against India but will look to turn the tides in T20Is which start on the 20th of December in Cuttack.
In the past, Sri Lanka have played five T20Is against India in their own backyard, winning two and losing three but they are yet to play a T20I match in any of the venues scheduled for the upcoming three-match series.
During 2017 Sri Lanka’s T20I series triumphs came against South Africa and Australia in the early part of the year, however, they have still lost 7 of the 12 matches played, including the last five T20Is.
With all three games having a 7.00pm start, both teams will look to chase down any score, taking into consideration the dew factor.
Several players named in the squad weren’t part of the team that featured in the last series against Pakistan under Thisara Perera’s leadership. Many were ineligible for selection due to injuries and reluctance to travel to Lahore for the final T20I.
Captain Perera has been praised for his aggressive leadership skills but he will need runs and wickets under his name to inspire Sri Lanka to victories. T20Is are Perera’s most preferred format and if he’s to keep his captaincy, noteworthy performances will be needed.
Sri Lanka’s batting will be their stronger suit but the inability to take wickets and the lack of experience in their bowling unit will be a concern for the visitors. Left-arm seamer, Vishwa Fernando, who did not feature in the Tests or the ODIs, will be the one to watch out for as he has been earmarked as the future spearhead in shorter formats of the game.
Dasun Shanaka, who has been one of the prolific hitters in the domestic circuit finally proved his worth in the international scene against Pakistan in the final T20I, scoring a fine 54 off 36 deliveries in Lahore and will look to establish a permanent spot in the team.
Asela Gunaratne was in the thick of things in South Africa and Australia, making a name for himself with his match-winning knocks. In Gunaratne and Shanaka, Sri Lanka possess two excellent hitters in the lower order.
Full Squad – Thisara Perera (Captain), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Janith Perera, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Chathuranga De Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando.
With the newly-married Virat Kohli rested again, Rohit Sharma will take the mantle to lead India. The hosts have named young guns in Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Deepak Hooda and Basil Thampi in their lineup along with Shreyas Iyer and Mohammed Siraj who were a part of the T20I squad against New Zealand last month.
Sharma will look for some inspirational, match-winning performances from their limited-overs core set of players in MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.
Hard-hitting Shikhar Dhawan, star from the ODIs has been rested hence KL Rahul will come into the side to open the batting with Sharma.
Full squad – Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Basil Thampi, Jaydev Unadkat.
- 1st T20I – 20th December – Cuttack
- 2nd T20I – 22nd December – Indore
- 3rd T20I – 24th December – Mumbai