Sri Lanka takes on India in the CoinDCX 3-match T20I series that comes after the Unacademy ODI series, which India won 2-1. The 1st T20I will be played on Sunday, 25th July, at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Sri Lanka grabbed a consolation victory in the 3rd ODI, but that win could positively affect their team morale. It was Sri Lanka's first ODI win in eight games. While we have to assign some weight to India fielding five debutants, the way Sri Lanka tactfully paced their chase showed that they're not to be taken lightly ahead of the T20Is.
Sanju Samson, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Krishnappa Gowtham and Nitish Rana made their debuts. India opted to bat first in a rain-interrupted match, with Suryakumar Yadav, Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson getting starts but failing to convert them into substantial scores. The game was reduced to a 47 overs a side contest after rain played spoilsport in the first innings,
A middle-order collapse triggered by some clever bowling from the Sri Lankan spinners saw India getting bowled out for 225 in 43.1 overs. In reply, Sri Lanka's Avishka Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa stitched a game-changing second-wicket partnership, where they played sensible cricket while keeping the scoreboard ticking.
Avishka Fernando anchored the Islanders' chase, finishing with a 98-ball 76, as Sri Lanka got past the finish line with eight overs to spare, despite losing a flurry of wickets towards the end.
With the change in formats, both teams could make some changes to their respective playing XIs, with India likely to hand out debuts to some of their other players.
The IPL experience for most of India's players means that they will start as favorites ahead of the 1st T20I. However, on a slow pitch with plenty on turn on offer, the hosts could prove to be stubborn opponents, especially if they apply themselves as they did in the 3rd ODI.
Expect an exciting encounter to kick off the 3 T20Is on Sunday.
Date: July 25, 2021 (Sunday)
Time: 08:00 PM (Local), 8:00 PM (IST), and 02:30 PM (GMT)
Venue: R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
There is some rain in the forecast on Sunday, but it's likely to occur before the match starts. It should be another warm and humid evening with an average temperature of 28 degrees celsius. The start of play could be delayed due to a wet outfield.
The wicket at the R Premadasa Stadium should remain dry and on the slower side for this match. The rainfall in and around the start of play could result in a bowling-friendly surface. Expect an even contest between bat and ball with a par score of around 160-170.
We could see some debutants from this Sri Lankan side in the T20Is. Lahiru Udara could replace Minod Bhanuka at the top of the innings. Charith Asalanka should retain his place in the middle order by virtue of his good performances in the ODIs.
Dushmantha Chameera, Chamika Karunaratne, and Akila Dananjaya should be the three players who're sure to start as part of Sri Lanka's bowling attack. Wanindu Hasaranga should be their X-Factor for this match if he's fit. Ramesh Mendis should take his place if he isn't fit.
Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka/Lahiru Udara (WK), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka (C), Charith Asalanka/Ishan Jayaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga/Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Isuru Udana/Praveen Jayawickrama, Dushmantha Chameera, and Akila Dananjaya.
Devdutt Padikkal might have to wait longer to make his India debut, with Dhawan and Shaw likely to continue opening the batting. Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav look to be certainties in India's top order. Sanju Samson should retain his place in the side whether or not he keeps wickets. However, India could add more stability to their batting line-up by handing Ruturaj Gaikwad his T20I cap.
There has been a lot of criticism directed at Hardik Pandya after the ODI series, and he'll look to prove his critics wrong in the T20Is. Krunal's batting prowess and consistency with the ball should ensure his starting place.
Rahul Chahar's performance in the 3rd ODI could earn him a spot in the playing XI. Varun Chakravarthy could also be handed a surprise cap as part of the team's spin bowling attack. Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar should be the side's main pacers.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson/Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal/Rahul Chahar, and Kuldeep Yadav/Varun Chakravarthy.
India should bring their A-game to the 1st T20I after losing in the 3rd ODI. The Indian players, with their rich vein of experience from the IPL, should edge out this Sri Lankan team. India should take a 1-0 lead in the T20I series in another close game.
Prediction: India to win
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