A resurging Sri Lanka team will be hoping to cause a major upset when they will face India in the three-match T20I series, starting from January 5th in Guwahati.
The home side have been in tremendous form in all formats in the year 2019 and have been extremely hard to beat, especially while playing at home which is why they will enter the contest as strong favourites.
On the team news front, there is good news for India as ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah is set to return to action after a lengthy injury layoff which would’ve been a real positive for the home side as the right-arm pacer is being termed as one of the very best in his position.
However, on the batting front, absence of veteran right-hander Rohit Sharma—who has been rested for the series—will be an interesting one considering the fact that he is the only player who has managed to score a century in a 20-over contest between both sides before.
In the batting department, team India will be relying on the likes of captain Virat Kohli, veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan and right-handed batsman KL Rahul to produce most of the runs and put the opposition under pressure whereas in the bowling department, the onus will be on the likes of pacer Jaspreet Bumrah, right-arm leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav to produce timely breakthroughs.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka will enter the contest knowing they are up against a very formidable opposition and any positive result will be a real bonus which will surely help in easing the pressure on the players who will be able to express themselves in a much-better manner.
Young players like Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando and Lahiru Kumara will be looking to make an impression in this three-match T20I series against India. Bhanuka Rajapaksa has delivered match-winning performances for Sri Lanka in his limited appearances in the T20 format. He has also been in good form with the bat and scored runs in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League. Sri Lanka will be hoping that he can produce runs for the side in this three-match T20I series.
In the batting department, the visitors will be relying on the likes of in-form opener Danushka Gunathilaka, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella and explosive left-hander Kusal Perera to score bulk of the runs whereas on the bowling front, the onus will be on the likes of pace-trio of Lahiru Kumara, Lasith Malinga and Isuru Udana to produce timely breakthroughs.
Leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will be looking to continue his good form with the ball in this series. He has bowled well and claimed 12 wickets in 8 outings at an average of 17.00. Besides Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga led from the front in the bowling department and picked up 14 wickets in 10 games at an average of 17.92.
In the last five meetings between both teams in the shortest format of the game, it is clear advantage to India as they have managed to register four wins compared to Sri Lanka’s just one.
The Men-in-Blue hold the record for the highest total of 260-5 in a 20-over contest between both teams, which they did back in 2017 in Indore.