India and Sri Lanka will kick off the new decade in T20 cricket with a three-match series against each other.
The year 2020 comprises a lot of T20 matches as all the nations gear up for the upcoming T20 World Cup. Both India and Sri Lanka have won the title once each, and will be hoping to add a second trophy to their cabinet this year.
Sri Lanka have been one of India’s fiercest rivals on the cricket field, but the Men in Blue have ruled the proceedings in the shortest format of the game. The two Asian giants have collided against each other in eight bilateral T20I series, out of which India have won seven. It goes without saying that Sri Lanka will look to improve that record in the upcoming series.
With that in mind, the selectors have brought back veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews into the T20 squad. The former Sri Lankan skipper has a fantastic record versus, and he could prove to be a differential for the visitors.
Apart from Mathews, here are three Sri Lankan stars to watch out for in this series.
#3 Avishka Fernando
The 21-year-old Avishka Fernando came into the limelight after his memorable knock against West Indies in the 2019 World Cup. The Wadduwa-born batsman does not have a good record in T20Is but he has done well in this format at the domestic level.
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Fernando will look to make the most out of the series against India. The tour will provide him with great experience, and he will also get a chance to face some world-class bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.
#2 Isuru Udana
Left-arm fast bowling all-rounder Isuru Udana has evolved as a player over the last few years. Udana did not enjoy much success in the first few years of his international career, but has now become an integral part of the team's bowling attack.
The 31-year-old fast bowler can trouble the Indian batsmen with his unique left-arm angle. Indian batsmen have historically struggled against left-arm fast bowlers, and Udana could well emerge as the 'X-factor' player for Sri Lanka.
#1 Lasith Malinga
2020 will be Lasith Malinga's last year in international cricket, as the veteran has announced that he will retire after the T20 World Cup in Australia. Malinga has been one of the world's best bowlers in this format, and his tally of 128 T20I wickets reflects that.
The 36-year-old has the responsibility of guiding the youngsters in this series and he will have the support of Angelo Mathews in this department. Having played so much cricket in India during the IPL, Malinga will look to lead his side from the front with his right-arm fast bowling.Published 04 Jan 2020, 23:32 IST