India made a sensational comeback in the 2nd T20 on Friday to level the series 1-1, courtesy an all round performance by the team. Newcomers like Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah efficiently demonstrated their suitability to T20 cricket, while rusty veterans like Shikhar Dhawan got to be amongst the runs in the shortest format of the game once again. Sri Lanka were clearly outplayed, but their competitiveness in the series was proven quite well in the 1st T20 at Pune. With both sides having made strong gains from the two matches played so far, the series deciding India v Sri Lanka 3rd T20 at Visakhapatnam on Sunday holds prospects of going down to the wire.
India look to consolidate gains made at Ranchi
If the 1st T20 at Pune was about India’s lack of quick adaptability to green pitches, Ranchi was all about the team reinforcing its dominance at home. The top order looked in exquisite form as Shikhar Dhawan’s first T20 half century portended good days to come in the upcoming World T20. Hardik Pandya’s promotion up the batting order was a brilliant experiment which paid off big time. With his all round skills, Pandya can prove to be an asset for his captain in the high voltage games coming up. Yuvraj Singh is perhaps the only member in the playing XI who has not had enough time in the middle for quite some time. For a player who is known to go ballistic after taking some time to settle in, the 3rd T20 might be the ideal occasion to promote Yuvi to No 4 and let him fully flex his muscles. Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane looked in fine touch yesterday, and they look well set to pound the Sri Lankan bowling tomorrow if the track does not turn green once again.
Sri Lankan top order in disarray, pace attack only hope
Sri Lanka’s campaign so far in the series has proven, beyond doubt, that they are overwhelmingly reliant on their pace attack to win them games. Though Pune was a feast for the Sri Lankan fast bowlers, Ranchi turned out to be the exact opposite. The top order, despite the addition of a shaky Dilshan, does not appear to be good enough to put up contests in the World T20. Ashwin and Co. might mow down the Sri Lankan top 5 yet again tomorrow, if the visitors do not improvise in their batting department. In all probability, skipper Dinesh Chandimal and the experienced, yet highly inconsistent, Kapugedara hold the key to Sri Lanka’s batting performance in the 3rd T20.
India v Sri Lanka 3rd T20 – Match details
Venue – Visakhapatnam
Start time – 1930 IST