As 2020 has arrived, team India is all set to begin the year with a blast. India will kick-start this season with the most anticipated T20I series against Sri Lanka. The first match of this three-match rubber is scheduled to take place on January 5 at Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati at 7 PM. It will be followed by other two matches on Jan 7th in Indore and Jan 9th in Pune. While the hosts are riding high on confidence, having won back to back series against Bangladesh and West Indies, the visitors have comparatively less experienced squad who would look forward to challenging the ‘Men In Blue.’ Ahead of the T20 World Cup, this series marks a crucial encounter for both the teams as it will serve as the stepping stone to the mega event.
The first match of the series will be a treat for cricket fans to watch India locking horns with their familiar opponent, Sri Lanka.
- India has an upper hand over Sri Lanka as the former has registered their two T20I series win by a 2-1 scoreline. The team has displayed spectacular performance in both the batting and bowling departments.
- Rohit Sharma, who finished the year on top of the list of batsmen with the most runs in ODIs, is on a much-needed break after a hectic 2019.
- Opener Shikhar Dhawan will make a smashing comeback to the squad, opening the innings with in-form KL Rahul.
- To strengthen the batting line-up, the team has Shreyas Iyer at No. 4, Rishabh Pant and Shivam Dube as finishers, and Ravindra Jadeja will fill the all-rounder’s slot at no. 7.
- Due to injuries, swing bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar have been ruled out of the series.
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 team will find it difficult to square off against the hosts, considering the current form of the latter that is likely to dominate the pitch in the home conditions.
- Sri Lanka’s batting line-up consists of Gunathilaka, Dickwella and Kusal Perera, who are expected to garner match-winning scores for the team.
- Former skipper Angelo Mathews has returned to the squad after a gap of more than a year, and will bat at No. 4.
- The wrist spinning duo of Hasaranga and Sandakan can give a hard to Indian batsmen.
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
The pitch is flat making it a batsman’s paradise and this ground is famous for high-scoring games. Batting second would be a safe option for the teams as the rains might ruin the momentum.
Guwahati is prone to rains. With 40% chances of precipitation, the game is likely to be disrupted, unless wind plays a vital role and blows the rain away.
Probable Playing XI
India: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Kusal Perera, Angelo Mathews, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga (C)
K L Rahul