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India vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I Preview: India continue T20 World Cup auditions against promising Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka
Sri Lanka's Dasun Shanaka

Sri Lanka might have lost 4-1 to Australia recently, but the series has certainly made them match ready.

Live Scores and Stats - India vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I

Multiple venues

Unlike the ODIs and T20s against West Indies, which were all played at the same venue due to the threat of COVID-19, the 3 T20s and 2 Test matches against Sri Lanka will be spread across four venues.

The series will kick start with the first T20 International set to be played at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow after which the caravan will move to the picturesque Dharamshala stadium for the last two T20 Internationals.

India in cruise mode

India are coming off an imperious 3-0 victory against West Indies where they were given some tough competition by the dynamic all-rounders from the Caribbean but the team managed to emerge victorious on all the three occasions.

Suryakumar Yadav was the highest run scorer for India in the series against West Indies and scored 111 runs at an average of 53 and a strike rate of 194 with the help of 8 sixes. Venkatesh Iyer made 92 runs from 3 matches at a strike rate of 184.

Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant also contributed.

In terms of the bowling, Harshal Patel was the leading wicket taker with 5 wickets from 3 matches at an average of 21. Ravi Bishnoi and Deepak Chahar picked up three wickets each. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur and Venkatesh Iyer also did their job with the ball.

A learning experience for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka lost their last T20 series against Australia by 4-1. They were staring at a clean sweep, however, the team managed to get over the line in the last T20I in a match that went right down to the wire.

While Pathum Nissanka and Dasun Shanaka were their top scorers, Dushmantha Chameera and Maheesh Theekshana impressed with the ball.

No Avishka, Hasaranga back

There are some absentees in both the squads. Avishka Fernando has been ruled out of the India tour due to a knee injury. That might not affect Sri Lanka too much as Fernando failed to make an impact in the T20s against Australia and managed an average of just 5.50.

The team will also miss the services of all-rounder Ramesh Mendis and pacer Nuwan Thushara who are out with a fractured thumb and side strain respectively. Bhanuka Rajapaksa will also miss out after failing a fitness test.

Ashian Daniel has been added to the Sri Lankan squad. Meanwhile, Binura Fernando and Wanindu Hasaranga have both recovered from COVID-19 and have also completed their 7-day isolation period in Australia.

Chahar and Suryakumar out, Bumrah and Jadeja in

India will be without Deepak Chahar and Suryakumar Yadav. While Chahar sustained a hamstring injury in the last T20 against West Indies, Suryakumar Yadav has been detected with a hairline fracture.

This will further lead to a depleted Indian squad of only 16 members as Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli have already been rested. The return of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja though will bolster the side. Both are automatic picks in the Indian XI.

It will be interesting to see whether Rohit Sharma opens the batting for India or they try to accommodate both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan at the top of the order. Another thing to see will be whether India go with an extra bowling option or play an extra better in place of Suryakumar Yadav.

They can either include Deepak Hooda or choose from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj for the additional pace bowling option.

Sri Lanka have quite a settled playing XI and only have to choose the replacement for Avishka Fernando in the middle order.

Predicted Playing XIs

India - Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rohit Sharma (c), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal

Sri Lanka - Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka, Charith Asalanka, Dinesh Chandimal (wk), Dasun Shanaka (c), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Maheesh Theekshana, Binura Fernando

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