January 7: India v Sri Lanka – 2nd T20I in Indore
Our XI: Kusal Perera, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Avishka Fernando, Oshada Fernando, Isuru Udana, Dasun Shanaka, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini
NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about a late injury (or other relevant) updates.
Captain: Virat Kohli
With no Rohit Sharma in the squad, Kohli is expected to take some added responsibility when he comes in to bat. That could mean more runs, and in case India are chasing – which they should if they win the toss – then Kohli is your man to lead.
Vice-captain: Kusal Perera
The opening batsman has the opportunity to bat the most number of balls for Sri Lanka. He has the most runs among his Sri Lanka team-mates and is a wicketkeeper too; has a strike rate upwards of 135 in T20Is.
You can see the trend. Stock up on batsmen because Indore’s surface is one of the best in the country for scoring runs. The bounce and pace will be true, and Rahul – facing the new ball – will bat when the conditions are the best.
Fresh after recovering from an injury, Bumrah will lead the India bowling attack against a fairly inexperienced Sri Lankan batting unit. He will bowl with the new ball, and then again at the death – both prime phases to collect wickets.
Over the last year, Shanaka has travelled around the world playing franchise cricket, even captaining a Bangladesh Premier League side in December. A partnership-breaker with the ball, he can hit big too.
Isuru Udana: Playing against his future IPL captain, there’ll be some extra motivation for Udana to impress this series. His variations at the death can get the better of batsman trying to go for the big shots while he can clear the boundary with ease while batting.
Avishka Fernando: Pleasing on the eye and, when he starts to play his strokes, there are few who look as ravishing as Fernando. Bats at the top of the order and enters the match with 72, 48 and 26 in his last three T20s.
Point to note
Not only is the Indore pitch one of the best in India for batting, it is also the smallest international ground – in dimensions – in the country. That means we could expect a run fest. Also, since the first T20I was washed out, expect both sides to field the same XIs as the Guwahati match.