India, Sri Lanka look to strike first blow in truncated series

Match details
Holkar Stadium, Indore
January 7, Tuesday; 19:00 IST

The main picture

The washout in Guwahati won’t hamper India or Sri Lanka’s preparation for the T20 World Cup in Australia in October this year, but it leaves the likes of Shivam Dube and Sanju Samson in the Indian ranks and Angelo Mathews and Oshada Fernando, to name a couple of players in the Sri Lankan squad, with one T20I less to stake their claim to be in the squads for the T20 World Cup.

Samson has been unable to break into the Indian playing XI since being called up to the squad for the three-match T20I series against Bangladesh in November last year, while Dube might feel he needs to string together good all-round performances to remain in the selection picture. Dube found a place in the playing XI on Sunday and might have had a chance to contribute with the bat or with the ball if the match hadn’t been called off due to a damp pitch following a rain delay earlier in the evening.

The two teams are likely to retain the same playing XI for the second T20 International in Indore, which means Dube will get another go. Kuldeep Yadav, who was picked again in the XI ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal, is another player likely to keep his spot and have the chance to consolidate his place. The washout was also not ideal for Shikhar Dhawan, who’s returning from a knee injury and needs to rediscover his touch in T20I cricket amid pressure from KL Rahul for his opening spot.

In terms of the series too, the teams have an almost fresh start and face the challenge of having to win both the remaining T20Is to lift the trophy. India were able to achieve back-to-back wins in a T20I series only once in 2019, against Bangladesh, and this is an opportunity for Virat Kohli and co. to get a semblance of consistency, which is arguably the greatest challenge in T20 cricket.

Holkar Stadium Indore pitch report and weather forecast

This venue has hosted only one T20I so far and that was contested by India and Sri Lanka. Rohit Sharma hit the joint-fastest T20I century and laid the foundation for a convincing Indian win. The shorter boundaries at the Holkar Stadium and true pace and bounce of the pitch helped Rohit notch up a 43-ball 118, while the two teams produced an aggregate of 432 runs in 37.2 overs. The blueprint for Tuesday’s T20I will not be different from last time (on that occasion, Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera won the toss and chose to bowl) for either team: bowl first if you win the toss and back your batsmen to chase down any target.

The forecast says that Tuesday evening will be clear with the temperature hovering around 15-degree Celsius. The forecast also says the air quality could be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

India vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20 playing 11

Predicted India playing 11: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Shivam Dube, 7 Kuldeep Yadav, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Navdeep Saini

Possible Sri Lanka playing 11: 1 Lasith Malinga (c), 2 Oshada Fernando, 3 Danushka Gunathilaka, 4 Kusal Perera (wk), 5 Avishka Fernando, 6 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 7 Dhananjaya de Silva, 8 Dasun Shanaka, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Wanindu Hasaranga, 11 Lahiru Kumara

India vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20I telecast channel

The second T20 International between India and Sri Lanka will be telecast on the Star Sports network and streamed live on Hotstar.

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