Game: 1st Twenty20 International, Sri Lanka v India, Nidahas Trophy
Venue: R.Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Timings: 01:30 PM GMT, 07:00 PM local
Both India and Sri Lanka will be aiming to kick-start the Nidahas Trophy off to a winning start when they meet in the opening game of the Twenty20 International tri-series at R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Host Sri Lanka have been plagued with injury concerns missing on their skipper Angelo Mathews with a hamstring trouble while Asela Gunaratne and Shehan Madushanka will also be missing due to injuries. They have left out talented Niroshan Dickwella due to poor form and the onus will be on Dinesh Chandimal, who lead the side in Mathews' absence. The return of Kusal Perera from a side strain will be welcoming and he is likely to team up with Upul Tharanga at the top while all-rounders Thisara Perera and Jeevan Mendis add flexibility. They have opted for an experienced bowling attack with Suranga Lakmal and Nuwan Pradeep. Isuru Udana and Dushmantha Chameera add variety to the pace attack but they will once again be pinning their hopes on T20 specialist Akila Dananjaya to surprise the Indian batsmen.
India have rested their top performers including skipper Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya and MS Dhoni. Neither there will be Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who were the cornerstone of Indian attack in the last one-year. Instead, Rohit Sharma will lead the side while Suresh Raina, who impressed in the series against South Africa has been handed another chance. Lokesh Rahul, recently appointed Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Dinesh Karthik and hard-hitting uncapped Deepak Hooda and Rishabh Pant form the rest of the batting resources.
The bowling looks fairly inexperienced with Yuzvendra Chahal set to team up with Axar Patel after Kuldeep Yadav has been rested. It will be fairly interesting to see how Patel responds to the challenge considering how successful the partnership between Chahal and Yadav was in complimenting each other. IPL performers Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur and Mohammad Siraj form the rest of the attack as India look to test them at international level. Thakur, though, has already played five limited overs games for India.
Head to Head Record:
India hold the upper hand with 10 wins from the 14 encounters between the two teams including victories in last seven games. In Sri Lanka, India have won all the three encounters against the hosts played previously.
Sri Lanka: 1. Upul Tharanga, 2. Danushka Gunathilaka, 3. Kusal Mendis, 4. Dinesh Chandimal (captain), 5. Kusal Perera (wk), 6. Dhananjaya de Silva / Dasun Shanaka, 7. Thisara Perera, 8. Jeevan Mendis, 9. Akila Dananjaya, 10. Suranga Lakmal, 11. Isuru Udana
India: 1. Rohit Sharma (captain), 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Suresh Raina, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Dinesh Karthik / Deepak Hooda, 6. Rishabh Pant (wk), 7. Axar Patel, 8. Mohammad Siraj, 9. Shardul Thakur, 10. Jaydev Unadkat, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal
Prediction: India are favourites to maintain their unbeaten record in Sri Lanka but their inexperience in bowling is sure to be tested and might be a concern proving the hosts with an opportunity to capitalise on. Fot the latest online cricket betting tips on the Nidahas Trophy Tri Series, in Sri Lanka, and latest news and live scores updates visit our Nidahas Trophy section.
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