Dec 21, 2017
By MI Media
Right when the Sri Lankans came touring to India, their coach had stated that this was a different side from the one that couldn’t win a single game when India had toured earlier this year. The Lankans put up an almost fair fight during the Test series that India won 1-0. In the ODIs, they surprised India in the first game, by winning it convincingly. But since then, they seem to have gone back to where they were in August when India clean swept them across formats. So far, India have won 5 consecutive international series against the Lankans in 2017, and the islanders are in danger of losing their sixth.
The Indian batting didn’t seem to be in trouble in spite of a shake-up in the batting order and a couple of names. KL Rahul came in and hammered a stylish half-century, after Rohit failed to capitalise on his start. Shreyas Iyer continued his good run with the bat, but what was more satisfying was the former skipper, MS Dhoni finding his rhythm and getting back among the runs, along with Manish Pandey who was deprived of opportunities in the ODi series. The Indian bowlers proved that losing the toss and fielding second wasn’t a major issue. They controlled the wet ball well and caused sufficient problems to the Lankans.
The visitors have to iron out their batting and bowling soon! Very often, a Lankan bowler will be on top of his game, but the others in the bowling unit fail to stand up at the same time. In the first T20I, none of their batsmen could put up a decent score and threw their wickets away without much application. They have very little time left on this tour to salvage some pride. They will need to win this series to keep it alive and take it into the decider in Mumbai. Thisara Perera may resort to a few radical changes, but was clear that the 15 in the squad is the best group in the country.
Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
The Holkar stadium has always promised a run-fest for the fans! The pitch should be more or less flat, but the wrist spinners will be able to extract decent turn to trouble batsmen. Overall, if both teams play about 70 percent to their batting potential, we could have a game filled with runs.
Yuzvnedra Chahal vs Angelo Mathews:
Chahal has been phenomenal in 2017! He is the leading wicket taker in T20Is, this year. He could easily widen the gap with the man next on the list, with two games remaining. Chahal has troubled Mathews consistently in the limited overs format. Mathews seemed to go into his shell against the leggie, but might want to take the aggressive route this time around.
KL Rahul vs Dushmantha Chameera:
KL Rahul showed no signs of nerves on his return to the Indian side. He was severe on anything short, anything with room or anything on his pads. Chameera has the pace and might continue to dig in a couple of short balls early at Rahul. Will the stylish batsman take him on early in the innings?
Jaydev Unadkat vs Niroshan Dickwella:
Unadkat had a good run with the ball on his return to the national side after a long gap. His slower ones are as good as any bowler’s at the moment. He proved his worth in the Indian Premier League (IPL), earlier this year, and showed shades of his skills in the first game. He dismissed the dangerous Dickwella by outsmarting him with a lovely slower one. Dickwella will be a bit cautious early on against Unadkat, but not for long. This should be a fun contest!