Sri Lanka will take on India in the third and final T20I in Colombo on Thursday. They beat India in a low-scoring thriller in the second game to set up the series decider with the second and the third game played on two consecutive days. This was the second win for the Lankan team after they beat India in the third ODI. Both teams eye the series win with the Lankan side having an advantage ahead of the start of the game. More about the third T20I preview in detail below.
Sri Lanka vs India, 3rd T20I Preview
The Lankan side was up for the fight in the second T20I. They made very good use of India’s lack of batting depth and gave them a jolt The Lanksn spinners Akila Dananjaya and Wanindu Hasaranga spun a web around the Indian batsmen. Bhuvneshwar Kumar walked out to bat at number six while Dhawan and Padikkal could not continue after being set. The lack of big scores from the Indian batsmen after being set has been a story very similar to how the Lankan batsmen have batted in the series so far.
Together the Lankan spinners took three wickets and made the best use of the conditions. Change of pace and spin off the track made the trick for the Lankan bowlers. In the final game, they would look to keep the same template having got a better understanding of the conditions now.
With the bat, the chase was set up by Minod Bhanuka (36) and then finished by Dhananjaya De Silva (40) and Hasaranga (15) who did his job with the bat as well.
On the bowling front, a decision on Navdeep Saini is yet to be made. He injured his left shoulder while trying to take a catch in the 19th over of the Lankan innings. He immediately walked off the field along with the physio and looked in extreme pain.
The same XI which played the second T20I will also play the decider as well for India. Several Indian cricketers were asked to isolate themselves for being close contacts with Krunal Pandya who tested COVID positive.
The Indian batsmen could only muster 132/5 in the second game which did not prove enough. They need to come up with a much better performance with the bat in the third and final game if they are to win the series.
Head To Head
Of the 21 T20I matches played between these two nations, 14 have been won by India while Sri Lanka have managed to win only 6 games. Their latest win came in the second game on Wednesday. Of the 15 T20I series played so far, ten have been won by India and Sri Lanka have managed to win only one.
Pitch & Weather Conditions
The pitch showed early signs of turn and bounce in the second ODI. Spinners from both sides extracted whatever was on offer in the pitch in the second game. The pitch is expected to play the same way in the decider as well with the spinners deciding the fate of the game. Any score around the 150-run mark should be a competitive one.
There was a passing shower in the second T20I and the rain might play a spoilsport in the decider as well.
Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Suryakumar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Nitish Rana, Ishan Kishan (Wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson (Wicketkeeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, K Gowtham, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar (Vice-captain), Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Chetan Sakariya
Dasun Shanaka (Captain), Dhananjaya De Silva (Vice Captain), Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ashen Bandara, Minod Bhanuka, Lahiru Udara, Ramesh Mendis, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Lakshan Sandakan, Akila Dhananjaya, Shiran Fernando,Dhananjaya Lakshan, Ishan Jayaratne, Praveen Jayawickrema, Asitha Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Isuru Udana