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India vs Sri Lanka 2020 1st T20I

Match abandoned without a ball bowled
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Right! That's it from us here at Sportskeeda! Do join us for the 2nd T20I on the 7th of January as India and Sri Lanka look to get off to a winning start in 2020! 

Till then, this is Shashwat Kumar signing off! Goodbye and goodnight!
0.0 Start of Innings. India and Sri Lanka kick off their new year with a T20 series which is great build up for the World Cup to come. These teams have played a lot against each other recently so they know each others strengths and weaknesses which sets up the match superbly.
With plenty of dew around already India have opted to bowl first after winning the toss. With Sri Lanka playing multiple left-handers India have gone with the two spinners who will turn the ball away from them, they are Washington Sundar and Kuldeep Yadav. Sri Lanka on the other hand have gone very seam bowling heavy along with plenty of power hitting through the middle.
And, the game has been called off! A pity for the thousands that had gathered in large numbers!

India won the toss and elected to bowl first in front of a packed house at Guwahati. Yet, just as the players were about to grace the field, the rain started belting down. And, though the downpour stopped after an hour, a tiny bit of negligence meant that water had seeped into the pitch, meaning that there were several wet patches on the surface. 

Numerous inspections later, the umpires took the right call of not risking the safety of the players as they decided to bring down the curtains on the 1st T20I. 
We are five minutes past the cut-off time, the ground staff has stopped looking after the pitch but we still wait official confirmation. And, we are left to wonder why the announcement is taking so long!
Less than five minutes remain before the cut-off time for the match expires and it seems a matter of when rather than if, with regards to the abandonment.  
The umpires didn't seem pleased with the damp patches on the pitch, an area that has been a source of concern for the past hour and a half. And, prima facie, it seems as if a game might not come to fruition today. Yet, we still wait for official news!
The umpires are again out for the inspection! And, we wait with bated breath!
The umpires are still not happy with the surface and we will have another inspection at 9:30pm IST!
The umpires walk out for inspection!
We will know in a few minutes what the umpires feel of the conditions and whether it is feasible to fashion a game. 9:46pm IST is the cut-off time for a five-over contest.
Update from the venue!
The inspection has been pushed back to 9pm IST, 45 minutes beyond what was originally reported. With the inspection happening in under an hour from now, we would most certainly be witnessing a curtailed contest.
There is going to be an inspection at 8:15pm, where the umpires might probably zero in on the starting time!
The umpires are walking out onto the field and are inspecting the ground. The rain seems to have come to a halt completely and the ground staff are working tirelessly to get the ground in playing condition.
It seems that the slight has just relented a touch, although it hasn't completely stopped. Reports from the ground also mention that a few of the ground-staff have already started working on clearing the puddles that have been formed.
But, the rain returns! And, it's a proper downpour now!
Good news! The covers are coming off and play is expected to start on time! A huge sigh of relief for all the cricket fanatics across the sub-continent!
Weather Update! It's started drizzling at Guwahati and the big covers have been summoned! 
Team News!
India XI:
KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah

Sri Lanka XI: Avishka Fernando, Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Perera, Oshada Fernando, Dasun Shanaka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara
Malinga: "We were looking to bat first. Batters are looking to do their job and defend our score. I think we are preparing for the World Cup and we need to see who are best 15 are in the next couple of months. 3 fast bowlers and 2 spinners for us."
Toss Update! 
India win the toss and elect to field first.
Kohli: 
"We haven't played here for a while and we have chased well here before. Defending a total is very tough and the pitch played differently in the second innings than the first. Last year, T20s wasn't as precise as we would have liked. But, with T20 World Cup, we can look forward to the format and coming out here and expressing yourselves. Manish, Chahal, Jadeja and Sanju aren't playing today."
Pitch Report! 
There are a lot of cracks on the wicket and it seems primed to spin. Sunil Gavaskar reckons that spin could play a part and that it isn't a pretty looking surface. However, the presence of due could aid run-scoring a touch, meaning that the captain winning the toss might look to bowl first.
India, on the other hand, have a settled line-up on their hands with Shikhar Dhawan likely to slot straight into the top order. Elsewhere, either of Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal could start, provided the hosts want to lengthen their batting line up.
In that case, it would also mean that they might prefer an all-rounder over a genuine pacer, meaning that only one of Navdeep Saini or Shardul Thakur might feature.

India XI (Probable): KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah
Predicted Line-ups!

Sri Lanka have plenty of options to choose from and consequently, they have quite a few selection headaches. However, recently Lasith Malinga has indicated that there might not be a place in the starting eleven for Kusal Mendis and more surprisingly, Niroshan Dickwella.

Sri Lanka XI (Probable): Danushka Gunathilaka, Oshada Fernando, Avishka Fernando, Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga, Kasun Rajitha
Head to Head Record!

Total Matches Played:
16 matches
India: 11 wins
Sri Lanka: 5 wins
In 2019, the Indians were patchy in the shortest version as Bangladesh, South Africa and West Indies stripped them of a game in the series whereas Australia and New Zealand convincingly won their rubbers. 

Despite Shreyas Iyer’s emergence and flickers of Rishabh Pant’s X-Factor, they still don’t seem to have zeroed in on a good modus operandi for the final phases of their batting innings, especially if one of their top three hasn’t batted through. 

Secondly, Deepak Chahar, after his heroics against Bangladesh, took a bit of tap against the West Indies while he also picked up an injury that seems primed to keep him out of cricket till the IPL. 

In the process, the fast bowling reserves have been tested to the hilt, although that would be eased to an extent with Jasprit Bumrah fit again. 

Yet, the uncertainty surrounding a fast bowler’s return from a stress fracture means that pacers of the ilk of Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur might have to pull their weight, especially with a potential T20 World Cup squad berth for the offing. 

Thus, there are quite a few chinks that exist in India’s T20 armour, meaning that Sri Lanka could still ruffle the hosts’ feathers. 

For that to happen though, the Islanders would have to iron out their own flaws, deficiencies that have often marred whatever positives they’ve achieved over the past few years. 

Consequently, the stage is set for the series to morph into a titanic struggle, where two neighbours fight tooth and nail for bragging rights and above all, a remedy for curing their current ailments.
Since then though, the Men In Blue have perhaps charted an impressive upward trajectory, although they haven’t been able to add to their ICC trophy collection. 

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have spiraled in the opposite direction, just as swiftly, if not quicker. The departures of Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene have left them immensely depleted in the batting department, thereby casting their next generation of batsman under the spotlight. And, rather cruelly, those cricketers haven’t stepped up as envisioned. 

Thus, the Islanders’ cricketing scenario represents one in actual turmoil, although they’ve briefly shown glimpses of the brilliance that made them a superpower not too long ago. 

And, to compound their problems, they have the unenviable task of locking horns with India on the latter’s home patch. Additionally, they have the small matter of not having won a limited-overs bilateral series against their neighbours since 1997. 

However, if it represents any solace for the Sri Lankans, they confront India in January in the format that isn’t particularly the Men In Blue’s strongest suit.
Back in 2011, at the Wankhede Stadium, India and Sri Lanka clashed swords to be crowned the premier 50-over side on the planet. On that day, the hosts emerged victorious, courtesy a couple of exceptional individual performances. 

A couple of years later, the pair crossed paths as a date with the ICC Champions Trophy final beckoned. And, in 2014, the sub-continental neighbours battled for a spot in T20I cricketing folklore, an encounter that has unfortunately etched itself into history as the match where India inexplicably fluffed their lines.

Thus, that three-year period, despite ending 2-1 in India’s favour, had also signified two Asian powerhouses in their pomp, meaning that they regularly carved out telling cricketing moments, especially when squaring up to each other.
Hello and welcome to Sportskeeda's live coverage of the 1st T20I between India and Sri Lanka! I am Shashwat Kumar and I will be taking you through the build-up and the entirety of the contest! Do stay tuned!