Dec 23, 2017
By MI Media
Sri Lanka would have seen enough of Rohit Sharma in 2017. A double hundred in ODIs, his third and now, the joint fastest T20I century that took India’s score to 260. Sri Lanka did put up a good fight, something they couldn’t in the first T20I, but 260 was light years away in the chase. With just one game left in the tour, Sri Lanka will look to forget whatever has happened earlier and look to go all guns blazing to win the final game and salvage some pride.
The new recruits in the Indian team have impressed in the limited overs format. There are a few more youngsters in the reserves, some of who haven’t even made their debuts in the format or for India, yet. Will Rohit Sharma and the team management decide to give the likes of Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Basil Thampi or Mohammed Siraj a go? It will be good to see one of them get a game with the team doing so well as a unit. It will be a tough call to separate the firing duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. The batting may not change too much for India at the top of the order. The line-up will be beaming with confidence after putting up the joint second highest total in T20Is in Indore. They will fancy a big total or chasing one at the Wankhede Stadium.
Sri Lanka’s bowlers have been toyed around by the Indians. Barring Thisara Perera, none of the others could get their variations right in either of the two games. Their spinner, Akila Dananjaya had troubled Indian batsmen in Sri Lanka earlier this year, but hasn’t had any impact on this tour. With Mathews injured, they could get in Vishwa Fernando back into the playing XI. The bowlers need a solid plan B to contain the destructive Indian batsmen.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Like the Holkar Stadium in Indore, the Wankhede Stadium is known for big scores too. With small boundaries and a pitch that is mostly flat, whoever bats first will want to put up another hefty total on the board. The bowlers could be in for another tough day in the office.
KL Rahul vs Akila Dananjaya:
There are few prettier sights in the Indian team than KL Rahul dancing down the track to a spinner and lofting him straight down the ground. Rahul is so nimble-footed that the bowler has to be extremely sharp to sense him charging down. Dananjaya took some pasting, but has a bank of variations that can outfox many batsmen. Both of them will look to get on top of each other early in the piece.
Yuzvendra Chahal vs Upul Tharanga:
Tharanga showed some promise in the second T20I, but was done in by a very good piece of bowling by Yuzvendra Chahal. The leggie isn’t worried about flighting the ball, even against set batsmen. Will he get the better of Tharanga who is one of the few in-form batsmen in the Sri Lankan line-up?
Indian spinners vs Thisara Perera:
While Perera has fared better than all the other Sri Lankan bowlers, his batting hasn’t been anywhere close to what he is capable of. He has had a string of low scores in the last 5 limited overs matches against India. The Indian spinners have accounted for his wicket on many occasions. Can Perera, the big hitter step up for Sri Lanka and lead by example with the bat in the final T20I?