After 22nd December 2017, Sri Lanka has an opportunity to forget India’s victory in Indore at the Holkar Stadium when it faced India in a T20I. It turned out to be nothing short of a nightmare. Rohit took the lead and scored 118 off 43 balls as India scored 260 for 5 in 20 overs, winning the game easily.
Sri Lanka will feel happy that Rohit is excluded from the Indian team for the second T20I at the same venue on Tuesday (January 7), following the first game which was canceled in Guwahati. The teams know what to expect, given Indore is known for big scores and one of the best-draining facilities in India.
The fans from both sides were disappointed in Guwahati as there was no action at the stadium, though driers, rollers, and irons were used. Both teams would have felt deprived of valuable T20I time in the lead up to the World Cup later this year.
Both teams are likely to be unchanged:
India and Sri Lanka have two matches with equal chances to win in the series to decide their combinations, keeping the World Cup in view.
In batting, there was plenty of indication in Guwahati that India will not be requiring too much from their middle-order. The Sri Lanka series is seen as a chance to give right-handed middle-order player Manish Pandey and wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson an opportunity since that did not happen in the first game. Shikhar Dhawan coming in place of Rohit will be the only change.
India is making it clear that its opening combination is not fixed. Now, the burden is on Dhawan to fight for a spot. KL Rahul has been comfortable. With Rohit taking back his spot once he returns, Virat Kohli needs to decide between Rahul and Dhawan, which is a tough nut to crack. The Indore pitch will give both the license to attack and India has been undefeated at this stadium.
The expected batting order:
The remaining order is as expected, left-handed batsman Rishabh Pant and right-handed batsman Shreyas Iyer handling the middle order, with the left-handed batsman right-arm off-spin bowler Washington Sundar and all-rounder Shivam Dube to follow.
Coming to the bowling unit, it has been boosted by right-arm fast-medium bowler Jasprit Bumrah’s return. During the West Indies series, India’s bowlers struggled in Bumrah’s absence, and Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka captain, said they had been looking to target them once again as he wishes Bumrah would be out of practice after an injury.
In recent times, Sri Lanka has been changeable in T20I. They defeated Pakistan 3-0 in their own country but lost to Australia with the same scoreline down under. They have a young dynamic squad with players like Danushka Gunathilaka, Oshada Fernando and Bhanuka Rajapaksa, the heroes who are part of their win in Pakistan.
Indore may provide exactly what Guwahati couldn’t – an action-packed game of cricket.