Team India will be seen back in action as they will be locking horns with Sri Lanka in the first T20I of the three-match series in Guwahati. Both teams are looking to finalize their squads for the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 with a near full-strength side being named. While the Indians will witness the comeback of Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan, Sri Lanka included Angelo Mathews among several young and talented individuals for this series.
Under the leadership of Virat Kohli, India will walk into this series as the firm favorites and will also be expecting a whitewash. However, the Sri Lankans aren’t ones to be taken lightly. Their emphatic whitewash of Pakistan in the T20I series last year gave a decent testimony of their potential. All in all, one can expect a closely fought encounter between the two sides at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.
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The pitch is suitable for fast bowlers. The last (and only) time India played a T20I here, Jason Behrendorff ran through the Indian batting unit with a four-wicket haul. While the spinners should get some turn as well, a good batting track is expected for this game. There is a chance of rain interrupting this game although one can expect a shortened game to take place. Here are some of the predictions for the match:
With Rohit Sharma not featuring in this series, the returning Dhawan will open the batting along with KL Rahul. The middle-order will remain unchanged from the WI series with the trio of Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant holding the fort. Shivam Dube will take up the finisher’s role in what is a deep batting unit for the Indians.
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While Washington Sundar and Ravindra Jadeja are certain to play in this game, Yuzvendra Chahal should get the nod over Kuldeep Yadav as the lead spinner. All eyes will be upon Jasprit Bumrah, who is set to lead the bowling attack alongside Navdeep Saini on Sunday.
Predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, and Jasprit Bumrah.
As for the Sri Lankans, skipper Lasith Malinga has a challenge on his hands with their roster filled with top-order batsmen. Nevertheless, Danuska Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis should be given the nod with the likes of Avishka Fernando and Kusal Perera following them. In the middle order, Angelo Mathews and Dasun Shanaka will be key.
Isuru Udana and Wanindu Hasaranga are quite capable of scoring quick runs in the death overs. While Sandakan will feature as the lead spinner, Lasith Malinga’s variations will be vital for the Sri Lankans.
Predicted XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera(WK), Avishka Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Lasith Malinga and Lakshan Sandakan
Fantasy XI Prediction
Kusal Perera (vc), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Isuru Udana, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, Yuzvendra Chahal and Lahiru Kumara