Date & Time: Friday, January 10, 19:00 IST
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India
Dhawan and Sri Lankan youngsters under the scanner
After a dominating performance in the second T20I, India eye on their first Series win of the year. Apart from Kusal Perera and W Hasaranga, there weren’t many who troubled India from the Lankan side. Given the quality and strength between these two sides another clinical performance from India won’t be a surprise. From India’s point of view, the form of Dhawan and the bench strength of the pace attack will be under the radar. Malinga on the other side hopes for some fighting spirit from the team’s young blood.
Isuru Udana who has been injured in the pre-match practice session is likely to be replaced by K Rajitha. India is likely to stick with the winning combination.
India probable XI:
KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka probable XI:
Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (wk), Oshada Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga (C), Lahiru Kumara
The surface in Pune has historically assisted pacers more unlike other venues in the country. The last match at the venue has seen India crumble for 130 against Sri Lanka where the pacers dominated the proceedings. Dew will be a factor for spinners alongside short boundaries here.
He has continued his recent good form in the first T20I by providing the team with a brisk start. Another crisp knock here will certainly make him the first opening option alongside Rohit. His PPM of 52 indicates there is every chance he will continue the good work in today’s match. In the last five matches in the format, he has a PPM of 68 and an MDTA of 1.25.
The Indian captain is a no brainer in any fantasy cricket team. In the last five matches in the format, he has scores of 30, 70, 19, 94 & 9. In this format, he is one of the best, even given his orthodox style he is proving to be a game-changer. He has a PPM of 55 and an MDTA of 1.42 in 44 T20Is.
He has solidified himself in the middle order and probably he is the end of India’s No. 4 problems. As of the first T20I, his ability to play spin in the middle overs has given few other batsmen a relief. His PPM of 40 in the last five matches makes him a worthy pick in today’s match.
He hasn’t looked back since his debut. He may have had an odd Australian tour but no other Sri Lankan bowler looked comfortable in that series. Given the problems a few Indian batsmen have against leg-spin, his overs will be vital for Lanka once again. He has a PPM of 53 and an MDTA of 1.29 in the format.
He is finding it very difficult to adjust to the tempo of the T20 format. Given Rahul has made his mark during the absence of Dhawan in the last few series, there is extra pressure to keep his place. If not for opening with Rohit, he has to perform in today’s match if he has to be the backup option at least.