Mirpur (Bangladesh), Feb 29 (IANS) Buoyed by two back-to-back wins in the Asia Cup, India will aim to extend their winning streak when they take on a depleted Sri Lanka in their third Twenty20 International at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium here on Tuesday.
India defeated hosts Bangladesh by 45 runs in the opener and followed up with a thumping five-wicket win over arch-rivals Pakistan on Saturday. This is the first time the iconic tournament is being played in the Twenty20 format. All the earlier events were One-Day International (ODI) editions.
Form is on India’s side as they have recently outclassed the island nation 2-1 in the T20I series at home. To add to it, Sri Lanka will come into the match after a humiliating 23-run defeat at the hands of Bangladesh on Sunday.
But come Tuesday, it will be a fresh start for both the teams as Sri Lanka will aim to keep aside their poor show against India recently and hope to register a much needed win in the five-nation tournament.
The defending World Twenty20 champions, despite having experienced Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal and Lasith Malinga, have failed to make an impact in the Asia Cup, especially leading up to the world event coming up next month in India.
Skipper Malinga, whose knee problem has again popped up, has put his participation in the tournament in doubt. Nevertheless, on Tuesday, Lanka have to step up and give their best to stay alive for the final berth.
On the other hand, despite a couple of injury concerns, the 2007 World Twenty20 champions look favourites on paper to win the tie. Shikhar Dhawan missed the match against Pakistan as he was unfit with a niggle in his left ankle.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is being bothered by back spasms these days, has missed most of the training sessions but is expected to be playing against Lanka.
Besides Dhawan and Dhoni, opener Rohit Sharma was hit on his left toe by a speedy yorker from pacer Mohammed Amir during the match against Pakistan on Saturday. He was sent for an X-ray but thankfully there was no fracture found.
It can be rightly said that India will once again rely on an in-form Virat Kohli to do the job for the side alongside the experienced Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh in the middle-order.
In the bowling department, Dhoni will hope his young gun Jasprit Bumrah along with experienced Ashish Nehra and spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja will continue their good form.