India vs Sri Lanka 2nd T20I: Preview and Prediction
The Men in Blue come into this series after a series win in New Zealand and have selected a young team for the series. The Sri Lankans had a poor campaign at the World Cup in Australia and will look for a good start to the year.
Hardik Pandya will look for an impressive start to the year as his young side takes on the Sri Lankans. 2022 was a mixed year for Indian cricket, and this team has been selected looking at the future. The Lankan lions have struggled in the last couple of years, and Pandya would look to take advantage of this and win the series before the third game.
India has struggled with its bowling in the last 12 months. The side will need good spells from Arshdeep Singh and Shivam Mavi with the new ball, as Sri Lanka has a settled batting order that needs to be broken down from the first ball. Young pace sensation Umran Malik must bowl well in the middle overs along with Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel who have enough experience of using the conditions in their favor.
Dasun Shanaka’s side has its task cut out. They haven’t won a T20 game on Indian soil since 2016 and have to deliver a strong performance in this game. Inconsistency has been the story for Sri Lankan cricket in the last five years, and the side will need to punch above its weight to win here.
The bowling attack would be under pressure, and the side would expect wickets at the start from Maheesh Theekshana and Pramod Madushan. Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, and Dilshan Madushanka shall need to do well in the middle overs of the game along with Wanindu Hasaranga who is a key bowler for the team.
What have they done so far?
India secured a thrilling two-run win against Sri Lanka in the first T20I to go 1-0 up in the three-match series. Chasing 163, the Sri Lankan innings got folded in the final ball of the match as they reached 160 in 20 overs.
Shivam Mavi, who made his India debut, had a brilliant outing with the ball. The pacer scalped four wickets and conceded just 22 runs in his four-over quota. Umran Malik and Harshal Patel scalped two wickets each.
Earlier in the evening, Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel stitched a 35-ball 68 stand to guide India to 162/5 in 20 overs. Both the batters returned unbeaten, with Hooda scoring 41 off 23 balls, and Axar chipping in with 31 off 20 balls.
India had got off to a blazing start but the hosts soon found themselves on the back foot after losing Shubman Gill and Suryakumar Yadav in the powerplay. Sanju Samson also fell cheaply soon after. Hardik Pandya and Ishan Kishan stitched a crucial partnership in the middle before Ishan was dismissed for 37, while Pandya was caught-behind for 29.
Head to Head Record
This will be the 28th time that India and Sri Lanka are playing each other in the T20I format with the former winning 18 of those encounters played between the two sides whilst the latter winning this fixture eight times. One of the games between the two sides has also been abandoned.
In India, the two sides have met each other in 15 games with the Men in Blue winning 12 of those encounters whilst the latter winning only two games. India has won each of their last 11 fixtures against the Lions with Sri Lanka’s last win against India in India coming in 2016.
Shivam Mavi (India): Shivam Mavi was handed his debut in the first game of the series for his consistent performances for Uttar Pradesh on the domestic circuit. And he did not disappoint scalping four wickets at the expense of 22 runs in his four overs thus registering the third-best bowling figures by an Indian in men’s T20Is.
He has been a standout performer in white-ball cricket recently. In the latest Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, Mavi has picked up 10 wickets in 7 games at an economy of 6.64. Mavi also bagged a handsome deal at the IPL auction, when the Gujarat Titans paid INR 6 crore for him, making him the most expensive uncapped player this year.
The rookie fast bowler’s forte is consistently bowling at 140 kmph or faster and rushing batters with his deceptive bouncers. Mavi has a golden opportunity to shine against the Sri Lankan batsmen in the absence of regular fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa (Sri Lanka): Despite Bhanuka Rajapaksa’s underwhelming performances in the T20 World Cup and LPL, the Sri Lankan team management has shown faith in him. In the recently concluded LPL, Rajapaksa scored just 95 runs at an uninspiring 105.55 strike rate.
But the hard-hitting left-hander has shown in the past what damage he can do in T20s. His exploits in the Asia Cup are a testimony to his power hitting, where he plundered bowlers to all parts of the ground.
He will be itching to get back into his groove to help his team win the series and India will have to be wary of the left-handed batter’s potential, as he is capable of changing the course of the game in a short span of time.
Predicted Playing XI
India: Ishan Kishan (WK), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (C), Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Shivam Mavi
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Kasun Rajitha, Maheesh Theekshana, Dasun Shanaka (C), Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (WK), Kusal Mendis, Wanidu Hasaranga, Dilshan Madushanka, Chamika Karunaratne
Sri Lankans need to play out of their skins to win this game. Their top order has been inconsistent in the last 12 months and has hurt the side. The bowling attack must execute the plans well, as the Indians have a strong batting line-up. Indians play at home and have won the last 11 games against Sri Lanka on Indian soil. It will make them favorites to win this game as well.