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India vs Sri Lanka 2017: Shardul Thakur Says MS Dhoni Helped Him Prepare for International Cricket

Updated: September 6, 2017, 7:33 PM IST
India vs Sri Lanka 2017: Shardul Thakur Says MS Dhoni Helped Him Prepare for International Cricket

India pacer Shardul Thakur in action against Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI. (AP Images)

New Delhi: Having had a mixed run in the two ODIs that he played for India against Sri Lanka, Shardul Thakur says that having MS Dhoni as a mentor has helped him get ready for the rigors of international cricket.

“I have learnt a lot from him during the IPL. It was a great boost for me. He is the wicket-keeper of the team so he has seen a lot of bowlers bowling from the other end, and very closely, like what do they do in a particular situation. So, whenever I have felt like finding out things about a particular situation, I have gone to him. I have always done that. It’s really good of him that he has helped me,” Shardul said.

India would aim to cap off their super successful Sri Lanka tour with another ruthless victory in the one-off T20 International on Wednesday. Any other result than India's resounding win looks highly unlikely, considering the visitors' rampaging run in the preceding Test and ODI series, where they whitewashed the hosts 3-0 and 5-0 respectively.

The game provides India an opportunity to fine-tune team combination ahead of the upcoming T20 home series against Australia and New Zealand. In total, India would play nine T20Is this home season and all contests will be a three-match series.

Rohit Sharma slots back in automatically, for he didn’t travel to the Caribbean earlier whilst KL Rahul and Manish Pandey will be expected to bring up the middle order. Kedar Jadhav scored a much needed half-century in the final ODI, and he could be afforded another chance to prove his credentials as India prepare for a long limited-overs schedule at home.

Hardik Pandya was rested for that fifth match on Sunday, and he too is expected to return to the playing eleven. Pandya hadn’t featured in India’s last T20I against the West Indies, with Kohli opting for five full-time bowlers back in July. His return to the playing eleven could allow for a bowling combination similar to the ODIs, with four full-time options to choose from.

Jasprit Bumrah is a shoe-in of course, whilst it remains to be seen if Shardul Thakur will get another go after proving expensive in the last match at Bhuvneshwar Kumar's expense. Kohli does like to field leg-spinners in the shortest format, and he played both Yuzvendra Chahal and Amit Mishra against England at both Nagpur and Bengaluru. He is expected to repeat this trick with Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav this time around.

Even so, there were no sure hints coming forth as the Indian team enjoyed an additional off day ahead of the game and did not practice.

Playing XIs:

India: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav

Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (c), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Upul Tharanga (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Angelo Mathews, Milinda Siriwardana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Isuru Udana, Dasun Shanaka, Lasith Malinga
First Published: September 6, 2017, 1:19 PM IST

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