On Tuesday, January 3, the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai will host the first game of the series. The following games will be held on January 5 in Pune and January 7 in Rajkot.
Both the Lankans and the Men in Blue had unsuccessful T20 World Cup 2022 campaigns. Sri Lanka reached the Super 12 round after rebounding from a shocking loss to Namibia. Be that as it may, they couldn’t come to the semi-finals. India, on the other hand, made it to the semi-finals, but they were humiliatingly eliminated by losing to England by ten wickets.
When it comes to Twenty20 Internationals, the Men in Blue have a significant advantage over the Lankans. India has won 17 of the 26 games between the two teams, lost only eight, and one match ended in a draw.
However, Sri Lanka pulled off an incredible comeback to defeat India in the Asia Cup 2022 Super 4 match, which they went on to win.
India, the series’ hosts, will begin as favorites. On the other hand, we examine the three Sri Lankan players that the Men in Blue ought to be wary of.
#1 Wanindu Hasaranga
The leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga poses a threat to any opposition when playing T20I cricket. He has incredible control and variations; He rarely fails to have an impact during a Twenty20 match. The 25-year-old took 10 wickets for Kandy Falcons in the Lanka Premier League (LPL) at an excellent economy rate of 6.41 and an average of 21.80.
In consecutive T20 World Cups, Hasaranga has taken the most wickets. He picked up 15 scalps in eight UAE matches in 2022 and 16 wickets in eight UAE matches in 2021. It is still a significant accomplishment, despite the fact that he has participated in a greater number of matches since the Lankans were required to participate in the qualifying round as well.
The Lankan leggie’s T20I statistics speak for themselves: 86 wickets in 52 matches at an excellent economy rate of 6.67 and an average of 14.48. In every way, the statistics are extraordinary. Hasaranga also holds a respectable T20I record against Team India. He has taken 10 wickets in seven matches, with a best of 4/9 and an average of 16.30.
#2 Bhanuka Rajapaksa
The aggressive left-handed Sri Lankan batsman Bhanuka Rajapaksa only knows one method for batting. That also entails going all out with the willow in one’s hand and not caring about the results. The left-hander’s inconsistent performances can be attributed in part to this. Rajapaksa adheres to the dictum “live by the sword, die by the sword.”
The 31-year-old has scored 666 runs in 35 T20Is, with an average of 25.61. While his numbers don’t make for extremely amazing perusing, he has a noteworthy strike pace of 135.09. Rajapaksa has the potential to cause problems for the Indian bowlers if he gets going. In the T20 format, he has a wide range of strokes that allow him to score quickly.
In IPL 2022, Rajapaksa was one of the best players for the Punjab Kings (PBKS). The southpaw won nine games while scoring 206 runs. The Sri Lankan batter had a wonderful strike rate of 159.69, despite his highest score of 43.
He entered the game almost always and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck. In the T20Is against India, the visitors would expect Rajapaksa to play a similar role.
#3 Kusal Mendis
The Sri Lankan keeper-batter Kusal Mendis is one of the most destructive batsmen in T20I cricket when he is at his best. As with Rajapaksa, he struggles with consistency, which is why his average after 49 matches is only 22.53. Notwithstanding, similar to his partner, Mendis additionally compensates for his unfortunate normal somewhat with his strike rate – of 129.62.
Mendis had an impressive LPL season, scoring three fifties and scoring 256 runs in nine matches for the Galle Gladiators. The opener is adroit at taking advantage of the handling limitations in the powerplay with his effective strokeplay. In international cricket, this has been the case numerous times.
Mendis scored the most runs for India in their six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka at the Asia Cup Super 4 match in Dubai last year. In his 37-ball 57, the right-handed batsman hit four fours and three sixes, and he and Pathum Nissanka added 97 runs for the first wicket.
In the T20I matches against India, Sri Lanka will be hoping for more devastating blows from Mendis’ blade.