The much-awaited three-match T20I series between India and Sri Lanka is about to commence in the first week of January. Sri Lanka Cricket has announced its 16-member squad for the India Tour to be led by veteran player Lasith Malinga. On the other hand, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami have been rested for this series. The visitors have arrived in India and are all geared up to lock horns with the hosts. The match will kick-start on January 5 in Guwahati followed by the second and third T20I in Indore (Jan 7) and Pune (Jan 9) respectively.
MyTeam11 has picked five players who have the potential to do wonders in the upcoming India-Sri Lanka T20I series.
The outstanding opener Shikhar Dhawan, who missed out on India’s last series against West Indies, has found his place in the squad for this series. He has been suffering from a knee injury and was therefore, absent from the team, paving way for KL Rahul into the Indian white-all side. The ‘Men in Blue’ have put their faith in him as he recently celebrated his comeback with a century in his first Ranji Test Trophy game for Delhi this season.
Due to a stress fracture on his back, Bumrah has been out of action since India’s tour of West Indies in July-August 2019. Despite being away from the pitch for a short period, the 26-year-old finishes this year as the No.1 bowler in ODIs and secured sixth position in the International Cricket Authority’s Test cricket rankings. Last year, he played a prominent role in contributing to India’s maiden Test series win in Australia. Moreover, he became the third Indian to take a hat-trick in red-ball cricket after Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan.
The young player Rishabh Pant has given some great glimpses of his extraordinary talent in his short career so far. But he has been under the scanner lately due to his disappointing performances, which led to cricket pundits question his place in the squad. Ever since he replaced MS Dhoni in the limited overs circuit, he has been criticized for his wicket-keeping skills and slow batting. In fact, he received bad reviews for his performance in the T20I series against West Indies. But he was backed by cricket maestros like Virat Kohli, Brian Lara and Kevin Pietersen, who said that he needs time to mature. He finally got back into form and scored 71 runs off 69 balls in the first match of the ODI series against the Windies. A lot is expected from the young lad in the forthcoming series!
Sri Lanka Cricket has recalled former skipper Angelo Mathews to the squad for the series against India. The 32-year-old all rounder is all set to make his grand comeback after 16-month-long absence from the shortest form of game. Unfortunately, he was away from cricket due to recurring injuries. The last time he appeared in a T20 International was against South Africa in August 2018, when he guided his team to a compelling three-wicket victory. It will be exciting to see what he has in store for the team after such a long hiatus.
Shardul Thakur has been consistent performer in 2019. With special focus on the third ODI match against Caribbeans, when team India was under pressure and Windies were about dismiss Virat Kohli, Thakur stood up. He got promoted up the order as India needed 30 runs at that moment. His cameo of 17 of just 6 balls turned out to be vital for the team and thus, he emerged as a bowler who can bat in the lower middle order. The 28-year-old has scalped eight wickets from seven T20Is till now.
India T20I squad against Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson.
Sri Lanka T20I squad for India tour: Lasith Malinga (c), D Gunathilaka, A Fernando, A Mathews, D Shanaka, K Perera, N Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, I Udana, B Rajapaksa, O Fernando, W Hasaranga, L Kumara, K Mendis, L Sandakan, K Rajitha