India’s batting will once again depend on KL Rahul and Virat Kohli. Shikhar Dhawan has been very inconsistent at the top, and inexperienced middle order will be India’s concerns ahead of the game. Rishabh Pant’s lacklustre form appears to be a genuine concern for Indian cricket fans now. Apart from his batting he has failed to show responsibility on his wicket-keeping skills in recent times. The left-handed wicket-keeper batsman has already played 27 T20Is and has scored 410 runs at an average of 20 and a strike rate just over 120.
India were bowled out for 101 in the last T20I held at Pune which were against the same opponent, Sri Lanka. All Sri Lankan fast bowlers dominated the Indian batting line up that day. So, the contest will be once again between India’s top order batsmen and Sri Lanka’s fast bowlers. If the Sri Lankan bowlers like Malinga, Rajitha, Dasun Shanaka and Lahiru Kumara again manage to get early wickets of India’s top-order, it will become difficult for India to make a comeback considering the fragile middle order performance we have seen in the past.
India’s bowling department has no issues, but India holds a risk of having a weak lower order batting because of three pace bowlers, the reason why Chahal and Kuldeep are not playing together from last year on words. So, it will again put pressure on top three batsmen to bat as deep as possible.
For Sri Lanka result hasn’t gone their way in the 2nd T20I as the batsmen struggled to score runs, but the team has lots of talented young batsmen for the T20 format. Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka makes a formidable top three on their day. B Rajapaksa , Dhananjaya De Silva, Dasun Shanaka also make a good middle order for them.
Oshada Fernando suffered a blow to his hand in the nets and will most likely be replaced by Mathews. Wanindu Hasaranga is more than a handy batsman who adds quick runs at the lower order. Sri Lanka is in rebuilding process but not to forget they recently whitewashed the No 1 T20I side at their home. India will have a tough job if Sri Lankan batsmen find the rhythm which they had during the Pakistan series.
Player to watch out For
Shikhar Dhawan : Shikhar’s strike rate in the shortest format has been an issue for a while and that is one thing he must address in the last T20I against Sri Lanka. Dhawan managed just 32 runs in Indore at a strike rate of 110. The pressure to remain one of India’s first-choice T20I openers is building on him as Rahul has made the most of his opportunities at the top and was in glittering form once again at Indore. Dhawan has probably the last opportunity to restore his worth.
India predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini
Sri Lanka predicted XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (WK), Angelo Mathews, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya De Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Lasith Malinga (C), Kasun Rajitha.
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By Narayan @iemRahul_