T20I series preview: India vs Sri Lanka


Hosts India and Sri Lanka will start a three-match T20I series on Tuesday with more important matters in mind as the World T20, which starts next month, looms large.

The series was scheduled so both sides could test combinations but as it has happened the teams have decided to rest their key players for more important battles.

The home team will be missing star batsman Virat Kohli as he will be resting up after a fabulous series away to Australia in the 50-over and T20 formats.

Left-arm spinner Pawan Negi has received his first call up and will be eager to impress after going for more that a million US dollars at the IPL auction on Saturday.

Sri Lanka will be missing their T20I captain and arguably the best bowler in the shortest format, Lasith Malinga, as he still recovers from injury.

Senior players Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath and Nuwan Kulasekara will also sit the series out but there has been a surprising recall for 36 year-old paceman Dilhara Fernando, who last played an international game in July 2012.

Veteran opener Tillakaratne Dilshan will also miss the first match due to hand injury and it will be interesting to see if he will be risked in the final two games.

Last Five Head-To-Head Results

2014 World T20 final: Sri Lanka won by six wickets in Dhaka
2012 One-off game:  India won by 39 runs in Pallekele
2010 World T20 group stage: Sri Lanka won by five wickets
2009 Bilateral series: India won by six wickets in Mohali
2009 Bilateral series: Sri Lanka won by 29 runs in Nagpur

Key players

For India opening batsman Rohit Sharma will probably need to score the bulk of the runs in the absence of Kohli. Rohit himself is coming off a good tour to Australia.

Dinesh Chandimal will have to carry the can for the visitors in the absence of all the senior players, especially Angelo Mathews in the middle-order.


India: MS Dhoni (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pawan Negi

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Seekuge Prasanna, Milinda Siriwardana, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Asela Gunaratne, Chamara Kapugedera, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilhara Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Binura Fernando, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeffrey Vandersay, Niroshan Dickwella


First T20I: 9 February in Pune
Second T20I: 12 February in Ranchi
Third T20I: 14 February in Visakhapatnam