Deadline: January 10, 2020 at 7 PM IST
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune
In the latest international game at the venue, Virat Kohli scored a double-hundred against South Africa. The pitch was as flat as you get in the subcontinent. India won the Test by an innings and 137 runs. Expect a run-fest on Friday as well.
India: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Shardul, Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (wk), Oshada Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa/Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasanranga, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga (c), Lahiru Kumara
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Wicketkeeper: Kusal Perera (vc)
Batsmen: Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Danushka Gunathilaka
All-rounders: Angelo Mathews
Bowlers: Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jasprit Bumrah
Players to watch out for
Virat Kohli could have maintained his 100% record of scoring half-centuries against Sri Lanka in the format, but he rather chose to send Shreyas Iyer at No. 3. His scores against Sri Lanka read: 68, 77, 56*, 82, 30*.
India will have a selection headache once Rohit Sharma returns. Shikhar Dhawan was the highest run-scorer for them in 2018 and KL Rahul ranks No. 6 in ICC T20I Rankings – the best for India, even ahead of Rohit and Kohli. While Dhawan scored 32 at Indore, Rahul hit 45.
Shardul Thakur is evolving into a fine limited-overs prospect. It was his three-wicket at the death that inhibited Sri Lanka from launching a counterattack.
Kuldeep Yadav likes feeding on the Sri Lanka batsmen. He now has 10 wickets in 5 matches against them.
Barring Kusal Perera, no Sri Lankan batsman could dictate terms to the hosts. As has been the case for the last 12 months, he will play a crucial role in the decider.
Not only did Wanindu Hasaranga dismiss the openers but he also managed to keep a lid on the runs. Indians were cautious with their stroke play against Hasaranga’s leg-breaks.
Sri Lanka won the last time a T20I was played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association in Pune. Riding on Dasun Shanaka and Kasun Rajitha’s three-wicket hauls, Sri Lanka bundled out India for a mere 101. They emerged triumphant by 5 wickets.
Given India’s recent form, they are unlikely to put a wrong foot forward. Their top order delivers time and again, and the bowlers produce wickets at regular intervals. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have not been batting well as a cohesive unit, giving very few runs for their bowlers to defend. The only way to level the series is to bury India under a huge pile of runs.