Team India’s sensational campaign in the Sri Lanka tour was dented by the COVID-19 virus. Although only Krunal Pandya contracted the virus, eight other Indian players also got ruled out of the series as they were identified close to the all-rounder. As a result, the visitors were forced to name an unbalanced line-up for the second T20I. The playing XI comprised six specialist bowlers and only five recognized batters.
Although the depleted Indian side put up a commendable fight, Sri Lanka walked away with a four-wicket triumph. The series is now poised at 1-1 which makes the third T20I a decider. The high-stake encounter takes place in Colombo on Thursday (July 29). Needless to mention, the Men in Blue would be raring to bounce back. They certainly need to put up a better batting effort as a below-par total cost them the previous game.
India posted just 132/4 while batting first which wasn’t enough. Hence, it would be interesting to see if the visitors can learn from their mistakes or not. While all Indian batters would be raring to shine in the decider, former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has special expectations from two players. He backed skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Sanju Samson to trouble Lankan bowlers in the high-stake game.
Shihar Dhawan and Sanju Samson will be the pillars of the batting lineup in the final T20I: Aakash Chopra
“Dhawan and Sanju Samson will be the pillars of the batting lineup in the final T20I. What the others like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, and Nitish Rana score will be a bonus. If Dhawan and Sanju Samson take India to a par score, then you never know what can happen. This Sri Lankan team doesn’t know how to cross the finish line. Even in the second T20I, they got stuck a bit,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
While Dhawan was India’s top scorer with a 42-ball 40 in the second T20I, Samson couldn’t do much. He struggled against spinners in the middle overs and went back after scoring just seven off 13 balls. However, both these players have a plethora of experience of playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Hence, Chopra sees them getting runs in the high-stake encounter.
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