A bilateral T20I series may appeal to fans in an ODI World Cup year in the same way that an introvert would enjoy a New Year’s party. Just the feeling that you could live without it
However, Sri Lanka and India will be considering the wider picture. It’s time to retry after considering what went wrong at the 2022 T20 World Cup. This will be Sri Lanka’s first T20I of this cycle, in contrast to India, who played a T20I series in New Zealand directly following the global tournament.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, and Jasprit Bumrah are not included in the roster for various reasons, giving the Indian team a fresh appearance. This provides them with the best blank canvas on which to write their T20I philosophy, particularly with the bat.
With the ball, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar, Hardik Pandya, and Harshal Patel will head the pace attack, which will also include Arshdeep Singh, who made his international debut less than six months ago.
Despite not having played a T20I match since the World Cup, Sri Lanka did compete in the Lanka Premier League last month. Despite the fact that the event had a low overall score, the participants would be ready for the challenge.
It’s hard to predict which team will start as the favourite. Although Sri Lanka, under Dasun Shanaka, has a more stable playing XI and is remembered for winning the Asia Cup last year, India has the home advantage.
In the spotlight
During the five-match T20I series against South Africa in June of last year, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan began the innings in place of India’s preferred openers who were unable to play. While Kishan now appears to have the team management’s faith as a result of his scorching double-hundred against Bangladesh in the third ODI, this might be a crucial series for Gaikwad.
His first-ten-ball strike rate in all T20 matches since the beginning of 2021, where ESPNcricinfo has the ball-by-ball statistics, is just 98.33. If India is seeking to modify their batting model, he has to step up his game. Nevertheless, the similar statistic for Kishan for the same time period—111.26—isn’t particularly encouraging either.
Wanindu Hasaranga only had eight more T20 wickets in 2022 than Rashid Khan (81). (73). Although the Sri Lankan bowler lacks Rashid’s speed, he is able to throw at a lower trajectory and has a well-disguised googly, which makes it tough for hitters to get under the ball and perform powerful swings. He has accumulated 10 wickets at an economy of 6.79 in seven T20Is against India. Even without accounting for his subpar hitting, he will serve as Sri Lanka’s strongest suit once more.