Rejuvenated Sri Lanka take on India in opener

Published : 12:00 am  March 6, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Nidahas Trophy T20 Series


The Nidahas Trophy 2018 begins in Colombo with Sri Lanka taking on India today. Seen here are three captains, Mohammed Mahmudullah (Bangladesh), Dinesh Chandimal (Sri Lanka) and Rohit Sharma (India) unveiling the trophy yesterday. 
Pic by Kushan Pathiraja    


After a successful and testing tour of South Africa, a new-look team India led by Rohit Sharma is all set to face Sri Lanka in the opening Twenty20 International match of the Tri-Nation Nidahas Trophy Series at the R. Premadasa Stadium today.

Having faced Sri Lanka in 18 international matches this season (six Tests, eight ODIs and four T20 Internationals) on home and away basis, another face-off can only add to the players as well as viewers’ fatigue due to lack of context.

Bangladesh is the third team in this series and though the sprightly bunch is known to add excitement, the series itself is not exactly an anticipated event after a rather exhausting trip to South Africa. 
However, for a bunch of youngsters, who will get to wear the India blues with as many as six top players being rested, would consider this a God-sent opportunity.

Even though this is a T20 tournament, a good performance will keep the National Selection Committee interested for those limited batting slots in the middle-order and perhaps the reserve pacers.
They have mauled Sri Lanka on most of the occasions and stand-in Captain Rohit Sharma will have plenty of reasons to remain upbeat about taking the trophy back home. 

Last time when India played in the island nation, they pulled off a complete whitewash – 9-0 across formats – but this time, it may not be that easy.

Sri Lanka have recently won a Tri-Nation ODI Tournament in Bangladesh and they will take a lot of confidence from the fact. 


The nature of the format enables even the weakest of teams to pose a fight and Chandimal’s men won’t be an exception

The likes of Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera are all talented but the firepower in their game has been missing for quite some time now.

The bowlers like Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera, Dasun Shanka and their mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya will have their task cut out against a deadly batting line-up. 
However, T20 is one format where predicting a favourite has always been foolhardy.

Untitled-9The nature of the format enables even the weakest of teams to pose a fight and Chandimal’s men won’t be an exception.

On a personal front, Rohit will be itching to get back to form after a poor South Africa tour where he managed only a single hundred in the one-dayers.

The Lankan pitches and the pace trio of Suranga Lakmal, Dushmantha Chameera and Dasun Shanaka are not expected to pose too many problems to the stylish left-hander, who was out of the side for a year owing to fitness and form-related issues.


The extremely talented K. L. Rahul may have to miss out if he is not allowed to open by the team management. 

With Raina back in the team, Rahul can only bat at No. 4, where Manish Pandey has been staking claim for quite some time now.

It will be interesting to see if India opt for an extra pacer or an all-rounder. In case the team wants an extra pacer then Mohammed Siraj will come in or else Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar. If the need of the hour is an extra spinner, then Axar Patel is the option at hand.

One thing can be expected from Chief Coach Ravi Shastri. He will not play anyone, who is not in the team management’s larger scheme of things – that is the World Cup.