India aim to win T20I series against SL in Pune (Preview)

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Pune, Jan 9 (IANS) After a thumping win in Indore, Team India will aim to wrap up the three-match series when they take on Sri Lanka in the final T20I at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.

The hosts registered a comfortable seven-wicket win in the second T20I and took an unassailable 1-0 lead after the first game in Guwahati was washed out.

In the second game, Virat Kohli’s men performed well in all the departments and didn’t let the visitors take the upper hand at any moment of the game. In bowling, comeback man Jasprit Bumrah hit the length right from the word go and didn’t show any signs of lacking match practice.

Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur also picked wickets at crucial junctures of the game alongside Kuldeep Yadav and helped India restrict Sri Lanka to a mere 142. In fact, it was the pace of Saini which impressed one and all as he bowled constantly in excess of 140 and troubled the Lankan batters.

In batting, K.L. Rahul continued with his good form and alongwith Shikhar Dhawan, laid the foundation of the chase which the hosts completed without any hiccups.

Thus, for the final T20I, all India need to do is to continue with their run and prepare for the three ODIs against Australia.

On the other hand, Sri Lanka need to improve their performance on all fronts if they aim to level the series.

On a flat pitch in Indore, Sri Lanka batters played a lot of dot balls as India bowled very accurate lines right through the innings. Their batters got starts but were not able to carry on with their innings.

Lasith Malinga would be tempted to bring in Angelo Mathews for left-arm pacer Isuru Udana who has been ruled out with a back injury. The inclusion of Mathews can strengthen the visitors on both the fronts as he provides them with a decent bowling option apart from batting skills.

Squads: India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Sanju Samson

Sri Lanka: Lasith Malinga (c), Dhanushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Isuru Udana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Kusal Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan, Kasun Rajitha

–IANS

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