Rain threatens one-off T20

Published : 9:42 am  September 6, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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All that is left of the three Tests, five One-Day Internationals and a one-off Twenty20 International tour, is the 20-overs-a-side contest at the R Premadasa Stadium today.   

But with Colombo battered by incessant rains the whole of yesterday, which forced the cancellation of practice sessions of both sides, there is the possibility that both teams might not even need to step on the field to bring an end to the near-two month tour. The weather forecast is not promising either, with the meteorological department predicting thunder showers on the day of the match.   

Should the game happen, however, Virat Kohli’s men will train their eyes on rounding out a tour of unparalleled success so far. India beat Sri Lanka 3-0 in the Tests and then 5-0 in the ODIs. A win here will make it 9-0 for the tour. The only time India did not taste victory on this tour was when it drew the two-day warm-up game against Sri Lanka President’s XI.  


With India in this mood, Sri Lanka will face a challenging ask to put an end to a losing streak that started in the fourth ODI of its previous series against Zimbabwe. There Sri Lanka had lost 3-2. The home team has brought in six new faces to help in this attempt, with pride to be salvaged. A victory will also go some way towards increasing morale.  

CITY-DM-1-4Sri Lanka hasn’t had the best of luck on tour either, with injuries blighting the Tests and ODIs. For India, there have been no such issues. Each time India has set foot on the field, the team has had a plan and the resources to execute it.   

As far as the playing XI goes, there could be a couple of changes depending on conditions, but for the most part, the Indian team should bear a resemblance to the playing eleven that featured in the fifth ODI on Sunday.   

Kedar Jadhav could make way for Hardik Pandya, despite the brilliant 63 in the previous game. If India does persist with Jadhav for his ability in the middle-order, then Ajinkya Rahane could once again be benched. That means Kohli could open with Rohit Sharma. On the bowling side of things, Yuzvendra Chahal could make way from Axar Patel, who did not feature in the final ODI.  

So far, India has not had to really flex its muscles, such has been the ruthlessness with which it has won. But with the format being as fast-paced and unpredictable, Sri Lanka can hope to crack the winning code at last. Unless the rain gods have a different plan. (ICC)



Teams (from):  
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Ajinkya Rahane, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.  
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga (capt), Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dilshan Munaweera, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dananjaya, Jeffrey Vandersay, Isuru Udana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Vikum Sanjaya.