India will take on Sri Lanka in the first T20I to be played at Barabati Stadium, Cuttack tomorrow. After winning the ODI series 2-1, Rohit Sharma as the captain would love to continue their winning momentum.
Indian team has quite new fresh faces in the T20I squad. Basil Thampi, Mohammad Siraj, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar will be making their debut on basis of good performances in Indian Premier League. KL Rahul makes a comeback in the squad. Jaydev Unadkat performed well during the 10th edition of IPL and has got a chance to represent the country.
Senior batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan, Rahane, Kohli & Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been rested for this series.
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma would be my openers in the first match. Shreyas Iyer who performed in Mohali, Vizag is an attacking option, take the game away from opponents could come at number 3. Manish Pandey who did not get enough chances in ODI series against Sri Lanka or Dinesh Karthik could get a chance at number 4.
With great power hitting and spin bowling option, Deepak Hooda might make his debut. Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Hardik Pandya would be my 6, 7.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 19, 2017
In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah would be a certainty in the playing XI. Either Basil Thampi or Mohammad Siraj should be given a chance. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal would be spin bowling options.
Sri Lanka would be low on confidence after losing the ODI series. Thisara Perera was made the captain of the T20I squad for series against Pakistan, would continue as the captain. Lasith Malinga has been dropped from the squad.
They have experienced players like Upul Tharanga, Mathews, Kusal Perera, Gunathilaka, Dickwella who are aggressive players. Shanka, Gunarante, Perera, are other power hitters. The bowling looks weak with Chameera, Vishwa Fernando, Nuwan Pradeep as fast bowlers. Akila Danajaya is the only full time spinning options.
Sri Lanka needs to play positive cricket if they have to beat India in their own den. India won a closely fought T20I series against New Zealand while Sri Lanka lost their T20I series to Pakistan badly.
India Playing XI: Rohit Sharma (C), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik/ Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Basil Thampi, Mohammad Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Sri Lanka Playing XI: Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Upul Tharanga, Angleo Mathews, Asela Gunarante, Shanka, Thisara Perera (C), Akila Danajaya, Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando.