After Guwahati washout, India, Sri Lanka to lock horns in Indore
Indore, Jan 6: With the first T20I being washed out, India and Sri Lanka will now hope that rain gods stay away from the Holkar Stadium when the two teams face each other in the second match of the ongoing three-game series on Tuesday.
Only toss could take place on Sunday at Guwahati's Barsapara Cricket Ground before rain gods came in and left damp spots on the pitch thus forcing the game to be called off without a ball being bowled.
Hairdryers were used to dry the pitch after water seeped in through leaking covers at the Barsapara Stadium, a sight which is not usually seen in international cricket. And that hasn't gone down well with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which now awaits chief curator Ashish Bhowmick's report on the same.
The Men in Blue, who enjoyed a brief break, are coming into the series on the back of T20I series victories against Bangladesh and West Indies respectively and thus would be the more confident side out of the two.
Just like Guwahati, the team management and other Indian cricket fans would focus on comeback man Jasprit Bumrah who is making his return to international cricket. Bumrah has been out of action after India's tour of the West Indies in July-August due to a stress fracture on his back and thus would be rearing to go and perform for the team.
While Bumrah will grab more eyeballs during the remaining two matches, the series is also important for left-handed opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan, making a comeback into the team post knee injury.
Dhawan, like Bumrah, was not part of the West Indies series after he hurt his knee during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. The left-handed opener was not at his absolute best in the T20I series against Bangladesh and faced criticism from several quarters.
However, recently, he scored a century in the Ranji Trophy and showed glimpses of returning to form.
In the bowling department, the team management would be checking out how the likes Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur react to pressure situations in death overs alongside Bumrah in the absence of frontline speedsters Mohammed Shami Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Young-off spinner Washington Sundar would like to put up performances to ensure that he gets to be part of the squad travelling to Australia for the World T20 in October.
Shivam Dube would also like to perform better - both with bat and ball - till Hardik Pandya is fully fit and back in action.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant - like recent times - will once again be watched with careful eyes. Pant knows that he cannot take things lightly and need to perform as Sanju Samson as already warmed the benches for six straight T20Is.
For Sri Lanka, the remaining two matches of the series would be about giving match practice to the likes of Angelo Mathews who is returning to the national side having last played a T20I against South Africa in August 2018
In their last T20I series, Sri Lanka suffered a 0-3 rout in Australia as all their three departments failed to put in a commanding performance.
India and Sri Lanka have faced each other in 17 T20Is, out of which India have won 11 -- joint most for them against all opponents faced in shortest format.
With the three-match series now effectively turning into a two-game affair, both India and Sri Lanka would want to win in Indore to make sure they can't lose the series. Also, Sri Lanka have never beaten India in a bilateral T20I series, a record which they would desperately like to change in the remaining two games.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson.
Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (c), Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Isuru Udana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Kusal Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha