The series opener of the three-match contest between India and Sri Lanka was washed out by rain. Rather not by rain but the wet patches on the pitch. The focus now shifts to Indore where the second T20 International is set to be played on Tuesday. Both the teams will hope for the dark clouds to stay away as they will be eager to get on the field and play.
The last time two sides played at this venue, Rohit Sharma wreaked havoc on the Islanders scoring 118 runs off just 43 deliveries. However, with him being rested, the visitors will have some respite. Having said that, Jasprit Bumrah is back and was reportedly bowling superbly in the lead up to the Guwahati T20I. India will be banking on him to make an impact and also prove his match fitness ahead of the important New Zealand tour.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, would want to leave the troublesome 2019 behind and under the new coach Mickey Arthur, make a fresh start in the new year. It will be interesting to see how they slot in the likes of Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis in the setup. As of now, the duo is likely to sit out of the second match as well.
Pitch and Conditions
The Indore surface is known to favour the batsmen. India made 260 against Sri Lanka in the only T20I played at the venue. It is expected to be another batting paradise at the Holkar Stadium and the team winning the toss is expected to bowl. As far as the weather is concerned, there is a very slight chance of rain which shouldn’t bother anyone.
India are unlikely to change their XI from their previous game unless there are any injury concerns. Kohli cleared that the decision to keep Ravindra Jadeja out of the team was purely based on Sri Lanka having many left-handers in their side. This makes Washington Sundar a potent weapon for the hosts. Bumrah’s return also bodes well for them as far as the death overs are concerned.
The batting shouldn’t be a problem. Though all the eyes will be on Shikhar Dhawan who is battling for his spot with KL Rahul and only one of them will stay in the XI once Rohit Sharma returns. Rishabh Pant and Shivam Dube will also have to keep performing with Hardik getting fit and Samson in the wings.
Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah.
Even the visitors won’t be changing their combination it seems which means more time on the bench for Angelo Mathews and Kusal Mendis. On a flat pitch, the likes of Malinga, Udana and Kumara have to bowl well early on and put the pressure on India’s middle-order. Hasaranga went for plenty in Australia after a fruitful series in Pakistan. He will be itching to gain his form back in this series.
The onus of scoring runs will be on Avishka, Rajapaksa and most importantly, Kusal Perera while Shanaka and De Silva will look after the death overs onslaught.
Probable XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (WK), Oshada Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Lasith Malinga (C).
Probable Top Performers
Virat Kohli– India | Avishka Fernando- Sri Lanka
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD
Match Timings – 19:00 IST, and 13:30 GMT.
The prediction is for India to win the match.
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