India and Sri Lanka find themselves in familiar zone as they face each other once again after playing full fledged series in both nations in 2017. This time though it is the Nidahas Trophy 2018 Twenty20 tri-nation series beginning in Colombo on Tuesday. The other nation participating in this series is Bangladesh.
India come from a 2-1 T20I series win against South Africa and will go into the tie as favourites given their emphatic record at the R Premadasa stadium in Colombo. Sri Lanka meanwhile, beat Bangladesh in the T20I series last month and will be looking forward to bringing out their best game.
The three captains were seen unveiling the Nidahas Trophy on Monday in Colombo.
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 5, 2018
- India have won six out of the seven T20Is played at the Premadasa stadium.
- India have beaten Sri Lanka in the last seven T20Is played between both sides.
- India have faced Sri Lanka in 18 international matches this season (6 Tests, 8 ODIs and 4 T20Is).
Team news and selection
With Indian skipper Virat Kohli rested, Rohit Sharma will lead the team out and he will hope to get the young looking Indian side come out with a lot of confidence. The focus for India will be to find the right balance. Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan will open the batting as usual. Suresh Raina, who was prolific against South Africa, will fill up that crucial No. 3 position. All eyes will be on comeback man ahead of the mega Indian Premier League 2018.
There is also the option of Deepak Hooda and Washington Sundar.In the spin department, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal will lead proceedings as Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur will take responsibility of the pace attack.
Sri Lanka miss out on some of their key players in Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne and fast bowler Shehan Madushanka, who bagged a hat-trick on ODI debut in Bangladesh. The trio are unavailable through injury.
It will be vital for stand-in skipper Dinesh Chandimal to find the formula in cracking the code against India. Kusal Mendis has been in decent touch at the top while Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka have boosted the important middle order. They have experience in Upul Tharanga and Chandimal.
It will be interesting to watch spinner Akila Dananjaya, who can bowl offbreaks as well as legbreaks, and Isuru Udana as well who is are capable of supporting Suranga Lakmal and Thisara with the ball.
Besides Akila, left-arm orthodox bowler Amila Aponso could get a look in as the other potential spinner in the line-up.
Pitch and conditions
The Centurion pitch is expected to be a slow turner and it is likely to play out in the same manner. Indians will go into the tie as favourites with their wrist spin duo. Afternoon thundershowers are forecasted and it could delay the start of the match to an extent.
TV Listing: The match between India and Sri Lanka will be broadcast live on DSport (English commentary). Hindi commentary will be available on Rishtey Cineplex/HD.