India set for first T20I tri-series


This year, the cricketing island nation, Sri Lanka, completes its 70 years of independence. The Nidahas T20I tri-series will be played between Sri Lanka, India and Bangladesh to celebrate the occasion. Team India will travel a little away from home with quite a new-look squad. Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar have all been rested for the series, while Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Siraj, Rishabh Pant, Lokesh Rahul and Vijay Shankar will look forward to make the most of the opportunities they get during the series. Suresh Raina, after an impressive T20I series in South Africa, will be keen to make a similar impact in this series too. In Virat Kohli’s absence, Rohit Sharma will lead the side, as he will be keen to continue his winning record as captain. He has led the side four times in this format and has never lost. He’s the first Indian captain to achieve this feat.

The hosts will kick-off the series against India on 6th March, 2018 and the entire series will be played at the same venue, R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo. The last time the Lankans faced Team India, they lost the series, 3-0. The memories of Rohit Sharma’s 43-ball 118 will still be fresh in the hosts’ minds. During that mammoth knock, he scored 108 runs just off boundaries (12 fours and 10 sixes). Although, Team India have a clear motive of testing new players in this series, Sri Lanka will enter the stage with their strongest squad. Angelo Mathews, Sri Lanka’s most trusted all-rounder, has been forced out with an injury. The likes of Thisara Parera, Dhananjaya de Silva and Danushka Gunthalika are likely to take up the all-round responsibilities. The inclusion of Akila Dananjaya is an interesting move as the right-arm offie has impressed with timely breakthroughs in the recent past. Apart from Akila, Amila Aponso and Jeevan Mendis are the other two spinning options available for Sri Lanka. The return of Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep to the side will bolster their pace attack, and Dushmantha Chameera might also contribute with his pace.

Although, Team India has rested few of their best players, the tri-series promises to be a fierce one, as none of the three teams will give up on the trophy. This series will be equally significant for individuals looking to seal their places in the squad, and stay in contention in selectors’ minds. Both Sri Lanka & India will be eager to kick-start the competition with a victory and put themselves in a comfortable position.


Rohit Sharma vs Nuwan Pradeep:

Pradeep’s economy rate was 15.25 in the match where Rohit Sharma scored his second T20I hundred, a few months ago. That was the series which every Sri Lankan bowler would want to forget, but it was certainly a difficult one for Pradeep to forget. However, Rohit Sharma will look to capitalize again on the sub-continental conditions. The contest, however, will be played with the support of Sri Lankan home crowd and Pradeep is back, fresh with his renewed energy. He certainly must have taken lessons from the past fixtures and will be looking forward to get rid of the Hitman early in the innings.

Suresh Raina vs Akila Dananjaya:

The right-arm off-break spinner, Akila Dananjaya is known for his unconventional bowling technique. His armoury includes the googly, carrom ball, leg-break, doosra and off-spin. With such variety in his bowling, he is the exact kind of bowler the format demands. Suresh Raina has recently returned to the side and he will be desperate to free his arms in these conditions, where he is a genuine threat when he finds form. It will be an interesting encounter to watch when the two will clash against each other. Akila will make sure to force the batsmen to play risky shots and Raina will have to be slightly watchful when he takes the attack to him. The winner of this contest probably might hold the key to win the game.

Yuzvendra Chahal vs Upul Tharanga:

The Sri Lankan opening batsman will be well aware of the fact that Chahal was one of the most impressive players in the ODI series against South Africa. He was equally impressive in the last series against Sri Lanka in India. He took a 4-fer in both the first and the second T20I. Tharanga was a victim to his leggies on both occasions. While Chahal looks unstoppable with the current form, Tharanga will surely look to change this in the opening match.



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