The maiden T20 fixture of 2020 between India vs Sri Lanka at Barsapara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday was abandoned due to damp-patches on the pitch. Ground staff left no stone unturned to condition the pitch for the match and brought all the gadgets-steam iron, hair-dryer, vacuum dryer and Super Sopper on the ground. But the relentless efforts of the Assam Cricket Association staff turned futile, and not a single ball was bowled.
Sunday goes in vain
The Sunday sail out crowd only saw the toss which was won by Kohli, and he had elected to bowl. But the full-house crowd at the stadium were enjoying and dancing with a hope to see some entertaining cricket. The last inspection by the umpires took place at 21:30 IST. Then both the umpires decided to call off the match, which brought a deadly silence in the stadium. The dejected crowd, along with the players returned to their respective destinations.
Toss between Dhawan and Rahul
Indian selectors and team management have a headache over who will partner with Rohit Sharma in the T-20I format. They will have to end up choosing between Shikhar Dhawan or KL Rahul. Dhawan has to outperform KL Rahul to cement his place in the opening slot. Rahul has been in tremendous form in recent times. The hard-hitting opener had played some remarkable match-winning innings for India.
Do or die situation
The veteran opener Dhawan has a do or die situation facing him; he has to punch above his weight in the 2nd T20I to be played at Indore on Tuesday. Dhawan needs to show his fitness, as well as would have to score a bagful of runs to impress the team management. Performing under pressure is a daunting task for a player. But Dhawan, a proven performer in limited over games, must come out from the stigma of niggling injury and bad patch to silence his critics.
Rahul in tremendous form
The south paw’s strike rate in the T20I has been an issue; he has to score runs at a brisk pace in the remaining two matches of the series to cement his place and ticket for the T20 World Cup later this year to be held in Australia. On the other hand, swashbuckling Rahul had played scintillating cricket in the last series against the West Indies in ODIs and T-20Is knocking a hundred and three fifties in six innings.
Bumrah’s return a welcome sign
Indian team management has been providing opportunities to so many players to pick up the best possible team ahead of the T20 world cup. This may be the last process of the experiment. Return of speedster Jasprit Bumrah in the side after four months injury has made bowling more potent. He is sure to be included in the remaining two matches as clear weather is predicted in Indore.
Second T-20 at Holkar stadium
Tuesday’s match at Indore would be the second T20I at the Holkar Stadium; incidentally Sri Lanka was the part of the visiting team in the first match at this stadium. That match was held in December 2017, where India built a mammoth total 260 for five in 20 overs. Rohit smashed 118 runs in just 43 balls while Rahul hit 89 off 49 balls. The hosts knocked down the visitors by 88 runs.
India looks to wrap up the series
India is all set to continue its winning streak against the Islanders as the visitors have not won a bilateral series against India in all the three formats of the game for more than a decade. Old warhorse Lasith Malinga is leading the side with a hope to play a decent cricket and provide a stiff challenge to the formidable Indian team.
Team India under the captaincy of the charismatic Virat Kohli is all set to win another home series. Sri Lanka lacks the arsenal to challenge a strong side like India. Team management has been giving a chance to youngsters on trial basis to select the final team for the upcoming world cup in the shortest format of the game in Australia. At the outset, it appears to be a positive move. Just keep in mind the world cup is a different ball where the possibility of miracles can’t be ruled out.