India vs Sri Lanka | Batting-Friendly Indore Promises Action After Guwahati Disappointment

Sri Lanka are unlikely to forget December 22, 2017. That was the last time they faced India in a T20I at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, and it turned out to be nothing short of a nightmare. Led by Rohit Sharma's 118 off 43 balls, India posted a whopping 260 for 5 in 20 overs, winning the game comfortably.

India vs Sri Lanka | Batting-Friendly Indore Promises Action After Guwahati Disappointment

Sri Lanka are unlikely to forget December 22, 2017. That was the last time they faced India in a T20I at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, and it turned out to be nothing short of a nightmare. Led by Rohit Sharma's 118 off 43 balls, India posted a whopping 260 for 5 in 20 overs, winning the game comfortably.

Sri Lanka will be glad that Rohit is not a part of the Indian side for the second T20I at the same venue on Tuesday (January 7), following a washout in the first game in Guwahati. However, they'd know what to expect given Indore is known for big scores and a superb batting pitch.

It also means there could be plenty of action in store for fans from both sides after a disappointment in Guwahati, where no play was possible despite driers, rollers and irons trying their best. The fans in the stadium deserved better facilities to ensure play, but while that debate rages on, both India and Sri Lanka would have felt robbed off valuable T20I time in the lead up to the World Cup later this year.

Both sides now have two matches in the series to figure out their combinations with the World Cup in mind.

There was enough indication in Guwahati that India will not be tinkering too much with their line up, especially in the batting. The Sri Lanka series could have perhaps be seen as a chance to give Manish Pandey and Sanju Samson a run, but that wasn't to be, at least in the first game. India stuck to the order they have been using in recent series, with Shikhar Dhawan coming in for Rohit being the only notable, and obvious, change.

Thus India are making it clear that their first choice batsmen are more or less fixed. The onus is now on Dhawan to fight for a spot, given KL Rahul has been in fine form and Rohit will take back his spot once he returns. Virat Kohli called the decision between Rahul and Dhawan a tough one to make, and both players will be looking to make that tougher in the remaining two matches. The pitch in Indore will give both the license to attack.

The rest of the order is as expected, with Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant handling the middle order and all-rounders Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar to follow.

The focus will be on the bowling unit, which has been boosted by Jasprit Bumrah's return. India's bowlers struggled against the West Indies in Bumrah's absence, and Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga said they'd be looking to target them once again as he expects Bumrah to be rusty after injury. Bumrah will be keen to show otherwise.

Sri Lanka have been up and down in T20Is in recent times. They swept Pakistan 3-0 in their own den with a second-string side, but lost to Australia in the same scoreline down under.

They have a fairly young squad with the likes of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Danushka Gunathilaka and Oshada Fernando, the heroes of their win in Pakistan. They also some experience as they've got back Angelo Mathews for the series. The all-rounder hasn't played in the format since August 2018 owing to multiple injuries, but Sri Lanka have shown faith in him at the very beginning of the World Cup year.

There's only a short turnaround between the two matches, but sides should be eager to go given the washout in the first match. With no rain expected, Indore could provide exactly what Guwahati couldn't - an action-packed game of cricket.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson.

Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (c), Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya De Silva, Isuru Udana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Kusal Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 3882 105
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 5819 119
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 3941 109
5 South Africa 3345 108
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RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 6047 275
2 England 5959 271
3 India 9319 266
4 Pakistan 6009 261
5 South Africa 4380 258
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