Indian cricket team will lock horns with Sri Lanka in their first match of the New Year in Guwahati’s Barsapara Stadium on Sunday. In this three match T20I series, the Indian side will travel to Indore and Pune after the first T20I, which will also mark the beginning of both India and Sri Lanka’s preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year.
The men in blue are coming into this series in the wake of T20I series wins against Bangladesh and West Indies and they will be hoping to do the same against Sri Lanka. India hold an impressive record against the Island nation and they will look to maintain that stat.
Here’s a look at India’s predicted XI against Sri Lanka:
The left handed batsman will make is comeback to the Indian side after an injury lay off which kept him out of action during the T20I and ODIs against West Indies. In 2019, Dhawan managed to cumulate only 272 runs in 12 innings at an average of 22.66 with a strike rate of 110.56.
The series against the West Indies was sort of redemption for KL Rahul. During Dhawan’s absenteeism, KL Rahul not only created solid stand with Rohit Sharma but also knocked scores of 62, 11, 91 in three T20Is with a strike rate of over 130. Rahul will look to maintain the same form in the T20Is against Sri Lanka.
The Indian skipper was in masterful form in the T20Is against West Indies. He had knocked unbeaten 94 runs which is also his best in the shortest format of the game. Kohli will also have his eye set on becoming the highest run scorer in T20Is when India take on Sri Lanka in the first T20I.
It seems that the arrival of Shreyas Iyer has fixed the No.4 dilemma for the Indian side Iyer did not have the best of times in the recently concluded series against West Indies but before that he was only second to Rohit and Virat as far as run scoring is concern in limited over cricket.
The youngster some how manages to grab the limelight. The 22 year old had scores of 33 not-out, 18 and 0 in the T20Is against West Indies but turned the table during the ODIs with scores of 71, 39 and 0. but the talking point during the series was not his batting. It was his substandard work behind the wickets that kept the critics talking.
In his short international career, Dube has got the opportunity to bat on five occasions. But only two times he had more that five overs at his disposal and he made sure to show the world his six hitting abilities.
Jadeja has emerged as the go to all-rounder for captain Kohli. His improvements with the bat and ability to control run scoring with the ball make him a certainty in the playing XI.
During the second T20I against West Indies when all other Indian bowler failed to stop the big hitting Lendl Simmons and Nocholas Pooran, Sundar gave away only 26 runs in his 4 overs. His ability to bowl economically in the powerplay is an added advantage.
To choose between Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will also be a challenging job for India. But looking at the impressive figures of Chahal in the last 12 months, leaving him out is never going to be an option.
Bumrah is all set to make his comeback in the three match T20I series against Sri Lanka. The pacer had been out of action since the West Indies tour in August last year due to an injury. The latter gave a glimpse of lethal bowling in India’s first parctice session of 2020.
Navdeep Saini is fit and ready. With there being no certainty to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar’s return, Saini has an ideal opportunity to stake his claim in the team in the three T20Is against Sri Lanka.