Time: 24 Feb, 7.00PM IST
Venue: Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow
Run-making appears easy batting first, owing to which the team chasing a score has never won a game at this venue. It will be interesting to see how much of an impact the dew will have, especially in the second innings.
Star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja is back and is expected to take the field in the opening game. Suryakumar Yadav has been ruled out of the series with a hairline fracture.
Probable XI for India: Rohit Sharma (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Bishnoi/Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Wanindu Hasaranga and Binura Fernando have been cleared to compete, post their Covid-19 recovery.
Probable XI for Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (c), Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Charith Asalanka, Janith Liyanage, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara/Binura Fernando, Maheesh Theekshana, Praveen Jayawickrama
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
Given how the Indians have struggled against spin bowling lately, premier spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is likely to create a big impact. Not only did he finish as the highest wicket-taker (16) in the T20 World Cup, but also ended up as the Player of the Series against India last July.
Since making his debut, Harshal Patel has gone wicketless only once in five appearances. His ability to outfox the batters at the death generates useful fantasy cricket points.
Rohit Sharma might have got only 66 runs against the West Indies, but it’s tough to forget his swashbuckling knock of 111* when last India played a game at Lucknow in 2018.
After getting a half-century on his debut, Ishan Kishan hasn’t crossed the 40-run mark in his next seven innings. However, he can unleash a wide range of shots in the powerplay. Not to forget that Ishan also inflicted three dismissals behind the stumps in his last T20I against West Indies.
Pathum Nissanka is not known for hammer and tongs approach. Yet, he manages to get useful runs at the top. His last five scores read 13, 46, 16, 73, and 36.
Although Ravindra Jadeja has picked up only 3 wickets in seven outings against Sri Lanka, his three-dimensional skills often prove to be critical in fantasy leagues.
Kusal Mendis is expected to play the dual role with bat and gloves. He is returning from an unbeaten 69 against Australia. In his previous outing against India, he scored 55.
Maheesh Theekshana remained wicketless for five consecutive games recently, but he is likely to open the bowling, and we know how India can be generous against the spinners.
Charith Asalanka enjoyed his time with the bat when India toured Sri Lanka last year. In four white-ball games, he scored 171 runs. Asalanka loves targeting the leg-side and with no off-spinners available for India, the southpaw is likely to swing hard.
Jasprit Bumrah, favourite amongst fantasy players returns after a well-deserved break.
Both teams have clashed 22 times in the shortest format, out of which India have won 14 and Sri Lanka 7. In July 2021 though, Sri Lanka beat India 2-1 in Colombo. However, India are on a nine-match winning streak, as compared to the tourists, who are returning from a humiliating series loss in Australia.
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