Cuttack: Sri Lanka would look to fight back after an embarrassing Test and ODI series and salvage some pride for themselves when they take on a young Indian side in the first T20 beginning in Cuttack on Wednesday.
The visitors, as a matter of fact should take a cue from the way they fought in the ODI series. In the first game in Dharamsala, they completely floored the Indians and had it not been for Dhoni, then the 2011 World Cup champions wouldn’t have been able to cross the 100-run mark. But after that game, it seemed all too easy for the Indians as they won the next two games convincingly to set up a series win.
The same happened in the Test series also as Sri Lanka had India under control on the first two days of the first Test match in Kolkata but the Indian batsmen bailed the team out of trouble in the second innings and almost ended up winning the game. In the next two games, they were completely decimated by the hosts.
But in the T20I series, the 2014 T20 World Cup winners would have a chance of reinstating their status as a champion side in the shortest format as the hosts would field a relatively young side in the series.
Said skipper Thisara Perera, “We had a bad series but we still have to take the positives from our first match in Dharamsala and flush out the negatives.”
This would also be a golden chance for batsmen like Manish Pandey and KL Rahul, to cement their spots in the T20I team. Also youngsters like Mohammad Siraj, Deepak Hooda, Basil Thampi and Washington Sundar would too look forward to impressing the selection committee by emulating their domestic performance at the international level.
Probable XI- (India) Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat/Mohammed Siraj.
Probable XI- (Sri Lanka) Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Asela Gunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera (C), Sachith Pathirana, Akila Dananjaya, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando.