Lucknow, February 23
With the number of claims increasing heading into the T20 World Cup, there will be no let-up in India’s willingness to experiment or their intensity in the three-match T20 series against Sri Lanka, which begins here tomorrow.
Fresh from a 3-0 whitewash of West Indies, an in-form India will look to do an encore against the visitors, and the Rohit Sharma-led squad has a realistic chance of achieving that.
But the endeavor to complete another clean sweep will not mean a climbdown from their keenness to give enough game-time to as many players as possible in the lead-up to the World Cup, which will be held in Australia in October-November.
The absence of established players such as Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant as well as KL Rahul in the upcoming three T20Is will definitely translate into more opportunities for the likes of Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Sanju Samson.
Kohli’s break from cricket means Shreyas Iyer will get a chance to settle down, play some useful knocks and stake a claim for one of the middle-order slots, though former India captain Kohli will come back to claim his No. 3 spot heading into the World Cup.
The duo of Gaikwad and Iyer failed in the third T20I against West Indies and would hope to impress against Sri Lanka.
One of the highlights over the last week was Venkatesh Iyer’s ability to finish matches and if he is able to continue in the same vein, while improving his bowling, the team management will have a world-class all-rounder at their disposal.
Samson has also been drafted into the squad and it would be interesting to see whether the management gives him a go in the playing XI.
Spinner Ravi Bishnoi is also impressed in his maiden T20I series and will look to march ahead with the same momentum.
Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has come back to bolster the bowling attack along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Siraj. Kumar will take confidence from his fine showing against the Windies, especially in the death overs.
As far as Sri Lanka are concerned, the sides suffered a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Australia and was let down by batting time and again.
Skipper Dasun Shanaka would hope that his batsmen get their act together against India. — PTI
Rohit up to the tasks
India captain Rohit Sharma said he had no issues with managing his workload ahead of the three-match T20I series and two-match Test series against Sri Lanka at home. “It’s a huge honor and it’s a great feeling to be captaining India in all the three formats,” Sharma said today. “I have a lot of challenges to look forward to now. At the moment, I have no issues. I’m looking forward to play all the games, the workload always depends on what happens thereafter.”
Lucknow: In-form India batter Suryakumar Yadav was today ruled out of the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka owing to a hairline fracture on his hand. Yadav’s injury was confirmed by a BCCI source before the board issued an official statement. Yadav, who was adjudged Player of the Series in the T20Is against West Indies, is the second Indian player to be forced out after pacer Deepak Chahar.
Melbourne: Ruled out of the T20I series against India after being infected with Covid, Sri Lanka’s star leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga’s isolation here has been extended as he returned another positive result. Hasaranga first tested positive on February 15 when the Sri Lankan team was playing in a five-match T20I series in Australia.