India is gearing up to take on touring Sri Lanka in the third and final T-20 international in Pune on Friday. The men in blue proved too formidable for the Islanders in the second T-20I in Indore, while the first match of the series in Guwahati washed out. Sri Lanka needs to lift its game enormously to make it 1-1 in Pune.
Sri Lanka suffers a setback
Sri Lanka suffered a setback with the back injury of left-arm pacer Isuru Udana; he is unlikely to take part in the final T-20I set to be played against India in Pune on Friday. Indian batsmen smashed the Sri Lankan bowlers mercilessly in the second T-20 and won the match by seven wickets to go 1-0 in the three-match series. India is a firm favourite to root out the visitors and bag the series 2-0.
Thakur and Saini shine
Youngsters are given a chance as an experiment by the selectors. Their choices for this match has reached the concluding stage. Both Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini have impressed the audience and the selectors alike with their superb bowling performance. Their next challenge is to cement their place in the team. The duo bowled 25 dots, while they have taken five wickets altogether and restricted the visitors at 142 in the previous match held in Indore.
Axe to fall on Dhawan
An axe is likely to fall on Shikhar Dhawan, the injury-prone batsman, whose innings cannot be matched with KL Rahul’s knock. Former cricketer VVS Laxman has already left him out in his 15 members team for the upcoming T-20 world cup to be held in Australia in October-November 2020. Rahul’s consistency in the shorter format has made him the cynosure of cricket fans and has undoubtedly booked his ticket for the world cup.
Bumrah needs to improve fitness
The return of Jasprit Bumrah is a welcome sign for the team, looking short of match practice in the second T-20I. His timely return in international cricket will provide a golden opportunity to the star speedster to gain full fitness and match practice. He is an asset for the team; his role would be decisive in the world cup on the bouncy track in Australia. His remarkable bowling is set to create trouble for the best in the business and send them into back foot. Bumrah’s presence will make Indian attack potent to dislodge any team.
Krishna a ‘surprise package’
Moments after the one-sided victory over Sri Lanka in the second T20I in Indore on Tuesday, Indian captain Virat Kohli had taken the name of Karnataka pacer Prasidh Krishna as a “surprise package”. He advocated the young pacer’s name and ensured his place in the forthcoming T-20 world cup. Kohli said, “I think one guy will be a surprise package going to Australia. Someone who can bowl with pace and bounce. Looking at the World Cup, we have enough options”.
Nearly unbeatable at home
Batting of team India is rock solid, which is almost impossible for the Sri Lankan bowlers to mesmerise. In the absence of Isuru Udana, the visitors’ attack looks decent, which doesn’t seem to pose any threat to the hosts. Skipper Malinga has lost his old magic, hence team India finds itself in a comfort zone and ready to pull another series triumph. Beating India on its backyard is extremely difficult for any visiting side.
Kohli and his troops have been preparing to wrap up the three-match T-20I series against Sri Lanka by 2-0 to boost the team’s morale for the upcoming tour of New Zealand, where conditions would be different. Most of the matches would be held on green pitches. But team India performed superbly in its last tour of the Kiwis. Some new faces are required to be boarded on the Trans-Tasman tour.