The Nidahas Trophy is a tri-nation series involving Sri Lanka, India, and Bangladesh which begins in Sri Lanka on March 6. The tournament is being played to celebrate Sri Lanka's 70th year as an independent nation.
All the matches will be played in the T20 format and take place at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Each team will play each other twice, and the top two teams with the most points will qualify for the finals.
The Indian cricket team, who are the favourites to win the tournament, is coming into the tournament after a successful outing against South Africa in the recently concluded limited overs series. After losing the Test series 2-1, they made a spectacular comeback and thrashed the Proteas 5-1 in the ODI series.
The carried on their good run of form into the T20I series as well, winning 2-1.
However, they made a lot of changes for the Nidahas Trophy. Regular captain Virat Kohli has been rested, with Rohit Sharma set to take over the captaincy. Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, both, who have been in sensational form, have been rested as well.
In their place, the team management decided to go for a few new faces in the form of Deepak Hooda, Vijay Shankar, Washington Sundar, Rishabh Pant, and Mohammed Siraj. Former Indian captain MS Dhoni was rested as well. Dinesh Karthik was named as the wicketkeeper-batsman in his place.
The Sri Lankan cricket team are coming into the tournament after a successful outing against Bangladesh, defeating them in all three formats. However, they had a terrible outing against India prior to the Bangladesh series, losing to them 2-1 in the Test and ODI series, and 3-0 in the T20I series.
A few months prior to that, the Sri Lankan side suffered an embarassing defeat against India at home, getting whitewashed in the Test and ODI series, and losing the lone T20I as well.
Dinesh Chandimal will lead the Sri Lankan side this time around, with Suranga Lakmal taking over the duties of vice-captain. Angelo Mathews was ruled out of the series after failing to recover from a hamstring injury.
Bangladesh, on the other hand, will look to bounce back after their recent losses against Sri Lanka. However, they will have their task cut out as Shakib al Hasan was ruled out of the series due to an injury.
Apart from a 1-1 draw against Australia in 2017, they lost most of the series they played at home and away from home. They played a lone Test against India in Hyderabad in March last year, which they ended up losing. The last T20I India and Bangladesh played against each other went the distance with India winning the match in memorable fashion at the M Chinaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru during the Super 10 stage of the World T20 which was held in India in 2016.
The Nidahas Trophy will be the perfect preparation for the Indian Premier League, which begins on April 7 in Mumbai. Apart from the Indian cricketers, a lot of the Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi cricketers will be taking part in the IPL as well.
Here are the squads for the tournament:
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan (vc), KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant (WK).
Shakib Al Hasan (C), Mahmudullah, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Mushfiqur Rahim (WK), Sabbir Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed, Abu Hider Rony, Abu Jayed, Ariful Haque, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Nurul Hasan and Nazmul Islam
Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Suranga Lakmal (Vice Captain), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Thisara Perera, Jeewan Mendis, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya De Silva.
The first match will take place in Colombo on March 6 with hosts Sri Lanka taking on India. All the matches will be telecasted on DSports. They can also be streamed on YuppTV, which will be available for users to download in many countries across the world.