Sri Lanka is currently ranked number 10 in the ICC World T20 Rankings table. With the present form of the Sri Lankan squad, it will be a difficult task for this team to defeat a top title contender like India. They also lost the ODI series against India in this tour and they will now try to clinch this series. This will be the first match of the T20 series and it will be important for the Sri Lankan team to begin this series with a win.
After defeating hosts in the ODI series, the Indian team is all set to start the T20I series and players will try to show their skills before the remainder of the IPL 2021 and T20 World Cup in UAE and Oman. Team management led by Rahul Dravid will try to groom these players before the upcoming ICC tournaments. This Indian team will try to give a chance to many new faces. Players like Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad who have shown their skills at domestic levels, will get to perform and get used to international pressure if given a chance in the first T20I.
- Shikhar Dhawan– The captain will have the onus to score runs at the top of the order. Dhawan was phenomenal in the first phase of IPL and will look to continue his T20 form. Also, with the T20 World Cup on cards, Dhawan has to make a strong case for himself to find a place in India’s squad.
- Yuzvendra Chahal– Chahal has been India’s trump card in the form of the game and has taken over 50 T20I wickets. He particularly has an impressive record against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka.
- Hardik Pandya– Pandya couldn’t do much in the ODI leg but in the 20 over format, he’s a different beast both with bat and ball and he’ll be looking to play on the reputation in the first T20I.
- Avishka Fernando: The opener has been probably the best batsman for Sri Lanka in the whole one-day series. He has set the stage on fire with his crucial knocks at the top of the order. Even in the final ODI, he made a brilliant half-century to see his team over the line. Avishka will be the player to watch out for Sri Lanka.
- Akila Dananjaya: In the last ODI of the series, Akila displayed brilliant skills with the ball and proved his worth. Also, he boasts of a pretty good record against the Indians. With batters looking to attack in the shortest format, Dananjaya can easily outfox them with his mystery spin.
- Chamika Karunaratne – The medium-pacer is close to establishing himself as a bowling all-rounder. He was the find of the series for Sri Lanka in the one-dayers and in T20Is he’ll be looking to continue the same run of form.
Stats (SL VS IND)
- Head to Head-19
- Sri Lanka- 5
- India- 13
- Sri Lanka are yet to win a T20I series against India.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar needs five wickets to complete 50 dismissals in T20Is.
The R. Premadasa Stadium is a batting-friendly surface and is expected to assist the batters once again here. Spinners can come lethal in the middle overs while pacers will be in the game throughout.
Probable Playing XI (SL VS IND)
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson (wk), Manish Pandey, Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Chahar, Krunal Pandya/Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy, Navdeep Saini/Bhuvaneshwar Kumar
Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Bhanuka Rajapaksa/, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Dasun Shanaka (c), Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha/Isuru Udana.
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