Match – 4th T20 International
Series – Nidahas Trophy, 2018
Date – Monday, March 12, 2018
Time – 7:00 P.M. (Indian Time)
Venue – R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Sri Lanka would be gutted after the loss against Bangladesh even after posting a massive total of 215, while batting first. But what followed in the second innings was something the Sri Lankan team would want to forget. The Lankan bowlers couldn’t control the run flow and the game slipped away.
Coming into their third game of the series, the Lankan bowlers would be under the scanner. They let go of the early advantage they had in the first game and couldn’t defend a huge score in the second. They’ve picked wickets but haven’t been able to control the boundaries which if taken care, will help the Sri Lankans in a huge way. They might be favouring the thoughts of having Suranga Lakmal back in the team, but the chances look meager. Their batsmen, on the other hand, lead by Kusal Perera have been in a red-hot form. Kusal Perera had put up an exhibition of his talent in both the games and was well backed up by Kusal Mendis with a half-century in the second game. Both their openers haven’t been able to convert their starts which they’d like to rectify in this game.
Sri Lanka (Probable XI): Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal (c &wk), Upul Tharanga, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep/Suranga Lakmal.
India, after losing the first game against the Lankans made a comeback with a clinical victory against Bangladesh. Shikhar Dhawan has been in a deep purple patch while the other opener and the stand-in skipper, Rohit Sharma has failed to fire. Rishab Pant has looked edgy in both the games and had let the advantage India had in the first game slip-away by playing dot balls and failing to give the in-form Dhawan, strike in the final 4 overs. It would be interesting to see if India give Deepak Hooda his debut by having him replace Pant. The bowling in the second game was top-notch, choking the Bangladesh batsmen for runs with as many as 68 dot balls off the 120 bowled. But looking at the way Kusal Perera has played them in the first game, especially against Shardul Thakur, India might want to bring in the Hyderabadi pacer, Mohammad Siraj, who has previously been successful against left-handers, in place of Shardul.
India (Probable XI): Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant/Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Vijay Shankar, Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur/Mohammad Siraj
Last five completed matches (most recent first):
Sri Lanka: LWWWL
Played: 15; India:10, Sri Lanka:5
Rohit Sharma’s highest ever T20I score came against Sri Lanka; he posted 118 off just 43 balls in the 2nd T20I of the bilateral series, last December.
This game is going to be a crucial one as both the teams vie for the top spot in the table and have one foot ahead in the race to finals. While India would be seeking to take revenge for the loss encountered in the first game, Sri Lanka would be seething for a victory after a surprise defeat against Bangladesh.
India, coming on the back of a victory might clinch this game against a Sri Lanka. The batting of both the teams looks good, so, this might come down to which team bowls better. As to what we have seen so far in this series, Indian bowling has the upper-hand.