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India holds the upper hand in terms of head-to-head records. They have beaten Sri Lanka fifteen times in this format, whereas the Lions have emerged victoriously on only eight occasions. Given how they performed in the first match, the men in blue are the outright favourites to win this game and subsequently clinch the series.
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India: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Hooda/Ruturaj Gaikwad, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis/Kamil Mishara, Charith Asalanka, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Danushka Gunathilaka/Janith Liyanage, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga/Chamika Karunaratne, Binura Fernando/Dushmantha Chameera, Praveen Jayawickrama, Maheesh Theekshana/Jeffrey Vandersay, Lahiru Kumara
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There might be, and perhaps will be never-ending questions on Rohit Sharma’s appointment as India’s all-format captain. However, when it comes to specifically the shortest format of the game, there is hardly a better leader than the 24-year-old from Maharashtra. On Thursday, Sharma’s boys in blue ran riots against Sri Lanka in the first of the three-match T20I series to secure a convincing 62-run triumph.
Sri Lanka got it wrong in every single step of the game, starting with the toss, where they asked India to bat first. The hosts obliged, with skipper Sharma and Ishan Kishan setting up a fantastic first-wicket partnership of 111 runs. Shreyas Iyer later joined the party to score a quickfire 57 off just 28 deliveries, taking India’s total to 199.
In response, the visitors had a very shaky start, losing both openers in Pathum Nissanka and Kamil Mishara inside the first three overs. Charith Asalanka tried offering some resistance from one end but never had a partner to rely on, with a constant procession of wickets going on at the other end. Ultimately, the Lions could only accumulate 137 runs, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Venkatesh Iyer picked up two wickets each for India.
The Indian team management does not need to unnecessarily tinker with the playing XI, given that they were better than their opposition in every department in the first T20I. However, Ruturaj Gaikwad might be included in the team he if recovers from his wrist injury in time. In that scenario, Deepak Hooda might have to make way for the opening batter.
The Sri Lankan think tank will be significantly busier as compared to their Indian counterpart, since we can expect plenty of changes in their playing XI for the second ODI. If Kusal Mendis and Maheesh Theekshana recover from their injuries, they are likely to replace Kamil Mishara and Jeffrey Vandersay respectively. Wanindu Hasaranga missed the first game as he did not make a full recovery after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this month. In case he is fit to feature in this game, the all-rounder is expected to replace Chamika Karunaratne, whereas Binura Fernando and Danushka Gunathilaka could come in Dushmantha Chameera and Janith Liyanage respectively.
Ishan Kishan: Questions were being raised on Ishan Kishan’s selection in the Indian team since the left-handed batter could not cross the 40-run mark even once in the recently-concluded series against West Indies, but on Thursday, he proved exactly why he is an indispensable member of the national set-up. The 23-year-old from Bihar took the attack on the Sri Lankan bowlers and smashed 89 runs from 56 deliveries, which included 10 fours and three sixes as well. This was his second half-century in T20I cricket and also his highest score in his format. Kishan now has a T20I average of nearly 35.
Charith Asalanka: While wickets were falling like ninepins at the other end, Charith Asalanka dug deep for Sri Lanka and helped the visitors put up a respectable score on the board in the run chase. He scored 53 runs from 47 runs, hitting five boundaries in the process, whilst also remaining unbeaten. This was the third T20I half-century for the 24-year-old from Elpitiya, whose average in his format is over 30 and strike rate is over 125.
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|India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I – Information
|India vs Sri Lanka
|Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala
|Saturday, 26th February, 7 PM IST/1:30 PM GMT
|How to watch
|Star Sports Network & Disney+Hotstar (India), T Sports (Bangladesh), Sky Sports (United Kingdom), Willow TV (USA), SuperSport (South Africa), Flow Sports (Caribbean)
Rohit is a cricket enthusiast striving to convey the finer details of the game in a capsule. He hopes to present a bird's eye view of the game, as he sees it, to the readers. He is smitten by the likes of ABD but crushes on pace bowlers who can make the ball talk. Email: [email protected]More info on Rohit Sankar
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