Young India look to continue winning run

Plot:

The Indian team are having an incredible year against Sri Lanka. They have won 2 Test series & ODI series each, and had won the one-off T20I in Sri Lanka as well. The visitors will be searching for answers to their problems on this tour, and will need them soon, before time and another series runs away from them. The three-match T20I series, the last one for India during their home season begins with the game in Cuttack.

The Indian selectors decided to go in with a few fresh faces for the T20I squad. Among them are the likes of Deepak Hooda & Basil Thampi who are yet to make their international debut. Thampi’s accurate Yorkers was a sensation in the previous edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), while Deepak Hooda can provide some massive six-hitting power in the middle to go with his tweakers with the ball. Other consistent performer from the IPL, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammsd Siraj & teenager, Washington Sundar also find their places in the squad. It will be interesting to see who gets a look in for the first game, The experienced lot of Dhoni, Bumrah, Hardik, Pandey, Chahal & Karthik will be led by Rohit Sharma who had a phenomenal maiden stint as Team India skopper.

Thisara Perera will continue as captain of Sri Lanka in the shortest format. He will need to bury all the problems they faced in the ODI series and find ways to achieve success against what looks like a seemingly invincible Indian team. However, the Lankans will face some fresh faces, who lack experience in the Indian setup. The Lankans look like the more experienced side on paper, and will hope to pull out their best to end the tour with a series win. They had won the first ODI, but lost it from there on. Perera will hope for a similar start to this series.

Stage:

Barabati Stadium, Cuttack

The stadium in Orissa has hosted just the one T20I. India don’t have any fond memories from then. They were bowled out for just 92 by South Africa, who went on to chase the target with relative ease. The pitch back then had assisted the Protea pacers. India’s pace battery this time around is different from the one back then. However, there isn’t a huge chance that the curator will roll out a green surface. Instead, it could be one where bowlers will want to go into hiding.

Acts:

Jasprit Bumrah vs Niroshan Dickwella:

One is a canny bowler, while the other is a destructive batsman in this format of the game. Bumrah will look to outsmart Dickwella with his variations in line and length. However, Dickwella can unsettle a lot of bowlers with the way he bats.

Rohit Sharma vs Akila Dananjaya:

Rohit Sharma has been troubled by this smart spinner in the past. Dananjaya accounted for Rohit’s wicket early in the chase during the deciding ODI in Visakhapatnam. There is a high possibility that Perera could hand the bowl to his spinner when the Indian openers come out to bat. Will Rohit move into fifth gear right away?

Basil Thampi vs Thisara Perera:

With no Bhuneshwar Kumar in the squad, Basil Thampi might just get his maiden international cap in the first T20I. One of the finds of the IPL’s last season will be raring to dish out those Yorkers in the death. He could be up against the struggling Thisara Perera who could be Sri Lanka’s go-to man to finish the innings. Will this be an interesting battle?


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