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India have a clear edge over their opponent when it comes to head-to-head records. These two sides have crossed paths 22 times in the shortest format of the game, in which the men in blue have emerged victoriously on 14 occasions, whilst Sri Lanka have had the last laugh seven times with one match not producing a result. With the formbook favouring them as well, India are the favourites to win this match.
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India: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson/Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Charith Asalanka, Janith Liyanage/Danushka Gunathilaka, Dinesh Chandimal, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumara
India have never got their hands on a major ICC trophy since 2013, when they won the Champions Trophy by beating England in the final. However, when it comes to bilateral series, there is hardly any team more intimidating than the men in blue, especially when they are playing at home. After a shock exit from the Super 12 stages of the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup, India bounced back by whitewashing New Zealand in Tests and T20Is at their backyard.
The performance graph once again took a massive dip when they toured the rainbow nation back in December, but as they have always do, India went all guns blazing in the recently-concluded home series against West Indies, defeating the Caribbean boys by 3-0 margins in both T20I and ODI formats.
The focus now shifts to the upcoming series against Sri Lanka, as Rohit Sharma’s men will be competing in three T20Is and two Tests against the Lions. The Dasun Shanaka-led will seek redemption after being handed a 4-1 defeat by Australia in a T20I series that concluded less than a week ago.
The Indian team management will miss Deepak Chahar in this series, as the pacer will reportedly be unavailable after sustaining a hamstring injury in the third T20I against West Indies. That, however, is unlikely to be a major issue since Jasprit Bumrah is back in the team for this series. Virat Kohli has been rested and it will be interesting to see whether Rahul Dravid and his think tank provides Sanju Samson with yet another opportunity to justify his selection, or instead use Ishan Kishan as a number three or a number four batter.
As for Sri Lanka, they will be bolstered by the addition of Wanindu Hasaranga and Binura Fernando, who have recently recovered from COVID-19. Hasaranga is almost certain to walk straight into the team but the same cannot be said about Fernando, since Lahiru Kumara seems to be ahead of him in the pecking order. Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis and Charitha Asalanka form a formidable top-order trio and the quartet will be completed with either Janith Liyanage for Danushka Gunathilaka.
Suryakumar Yadav: All eyes will be on Suryakumar Yadav for the right reasons, as the batter from Mumbai was India’s best player in the T20I series against West Indies. He has scored 351 runs in only 12 T20I innings at an average of nearly 40 and an even better strike rate of over 160. In his last match against the men from the Caribbean, Yadav struck a fantastic 65 off only 31 deliveries. His knock was comprised of seven sixes and one four as well.
Wanindu Hasaranga: Wanindu Hasaranga is one of the most sought-after players in this format of the game and the price he fetched at the 2022 Indian Premier League auction is a testament to that. He has picked up 57 wickets in 35 matches at an incredible average of under 15 and an economy rate of slightly over 6 runs per over. The 24-year-old from Galle is also a pretty handy batter, having scored 345 T20I runs at a strike rate of over 120.
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|India vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I – Information|
|Teams||India vs Sri Lanka|
|Location||Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow|
|Time||Thursday, 24th 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)|
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