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Sri Lanka have looked in good form in this series and they have competed really well against India in T20Is in the recent past. However, India have been successful in bilateral T20Is quite a bit and they are on an unbeaten run of 10 series as well. While Sri Lanka cannot be taken lightly, India’s history in series deciders tilts the scale in their favour. We predict India to win this game and eventually win the series 2-1.
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India: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Rahul Tripathi, Hardik Pandya (c), Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Shivam Mavi, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha, Dilshan Madushanka
It is all to play for in the third and final game of this T20I series between India and Sri Lanka. The series is set up beautifully with both teams winning one game apiece.
India haven’t looked at their best throughout this T20I series. Their top-order has struggled with the likes of Ishan Kishan not converting their starts and Shubman Gill not able to get going. If it was Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel in the first game, it was Suryakumar Yadav alongside Axar in the second that did the bulk of the scoring for the hosts. It was the Hooda-Axar partnership that propelled India past 160 in the first encounter while Suryakumar and Axar kept the game alive for them despite being 57/5 in the 10th over, chasing 207.
India’s pacers were impressive in the first T20I but unforced errors in the second game may have well cost them the match. They bowled seven no-balls and four wides. The spinners put up an improved show in the second game when compared to the first. Thus, India will be hoping that the entire bowling attack fires in unison.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka whose top-order failed in the first game gave them a rocking start in the second and that set the foundation for the likes of Charith Asalanka and skipper Dasun Shanaka to explode at the death. Shanaka has been in amazing touch and has formed a vital cog in that middle-order for Sri Lanka, donning the finisher’s hat.
Death bowling seems to be an issue that the visitors would need to look at. They conceded 68 runs in the last 35 balls in the first T20I while giving away 133 runs in the last 11.5 overs in the second game despite having India five down.
Both teams are unlikely to make any changes to their respective XIs that played in the second T20I. The only possible change could be from India if they want to drop Shubman Gill and bring in Ruturaj Gaikwad at the top of the order which looks unlikely. Both bowling attacks received a bit of tap in the second T20I and thus, there may not be any changes to either bowling attacks.
Suryakumar Yadav has been simply magnificent in the last year for India in T20I cricket. He batted at No. 3 in the first T20I and got just 7 but once he was back to No. 4, he smashed a fine 51 off 36 balls (three fours and three sixes) which ensured India were in the hunt while chasing a mammoth 207. The Mumbai-born cricket racked up 1164 runs at an average of 46.56 and a strike-rate of 187.43 in the T20Is in 2022. Hence, his form and contributions are absolutely vital for India.
Dasun Shanaka is in excellent form with the bat. The Sri Lankan skipper almost took his side over the line with his 27-ball 45 in the first game before he made a stunning 56 not out off 22 balls (two fours and six sixes) in the second T20I. In his last five T20I knocks against India, Shanaka has remained unbeaten four times and he has scored 255 runs while striking at 205.64.
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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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