In India’s first match in international cricket this year, the Men in Blue will host their southern neighbors, Sri Lanka for a 3-match T20I series at home. The first of the three encounters will be played on 7th January at the Barsapara Stadium in Guwahati.
It will be first of the many T20I series that India play this year in the lead-up to the marquee event in Australia in October 2020. The preparations for the T-20 World Cup for Virat Kohli and co. begins with their first T20 assignment against Sri Lanka.
The hosts would hope to plug-in a few loopholes and look to consider enough back-up options in order to strengthen their chances ahead of the mega tournament.
India will be boosted by the return of their premier pace bowler in Jasprit Bumrah, who will make a straight return to the Indian side after not having played any cricket for four months now.
With Rohit Sharma rested for the three T20Is, it will be an opportunity for Shikhar Dhawan to throw his hat in the ring as the race for India’s opening slots gets more intense after KL Rahul’s recent flourishing form.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka will hope to get their XI right and pick players who can deliver for them in the longer run. It will be a daunting task for the Islanders to compete against a rampaging Indian side.
Under the leadership of Lasith Malinga, Lankans will want to count upon his experience and put up a great show in the three T20Is. The return of Angelo Mathews will provide them with the stability in the middle-order to allow the young likes of Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando and others to play their natural attacking game around the veteran.
India: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (Wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini
Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (Wk), Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Lakshan Sandakan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kasun Rajitha, Lasith Malinga (C)