IND vs SL: 1st T20I Preview

IND vs SL: 1st T20I Preview
Image Source: @BCCI

IND vs SL: 1st T20I Preview

After a comprehensive series win over New Zealand and West Indies, Rohit Sharma's men would look to end the home season with a yet another 3-0 drubbing over Sri Lanka. With an eye on T20 World Cup and considering the bubble fatigue, India have decided to rest Kohli and Pant who have been on road since December end. This opens up another big opportunity for the likes of Shreyash Iyer and Sanju Samson in the middle order. 

"His backfoot play is superb. Some of the shots you must have seen during the IPL - the pick-up pull, the cut shots, standing and delivering over the bowler's head - those kinds of shots are not easy to play. I believe when you go to Australia you need that kind of shot-making ability. Samson definitely has it in him. I just wish him the best and hope that he utilises potential to the maximum" This is what skipper Rohit had to say about Sanju which clearly indicates he is in India's plans for the World Cup. India suffered a big blow when Man of the Series against WI- Suryakumar Yadav was ruled out with a hairline fracture in the thumb. India will be boosted with the return of their ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja who will add to the batting depth.

International schedule is cruel these days. Sri Lanka played a T20I in Melbourne on 20th and now will be up against the no. 1 side in 3 days time. It's not going to be easy for the visitors. To make matters worse, they have been rocked by injuries and COVID 19. Their star all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga tested postive for the 2nd time and didn't travel to India from Melbourne. Theekshana and Kusal Mendis who starred in their last T20I win have suffered harmstring injuries with Mendis getting ruled out of the series. Theekshana is expected to be available for last 2 games. Avishka Fernando was ruled out in middle of the Australia series. Nuwan Thushara is out because of a side strain.

India is coming into the series with a streak of 9 consecutive wins, whereas Sri Lanka had a 4-1 loss against Aussies. Taking injuries and current form into consideration, it is going to take a miraculous effort from the visitors.


Probable XI

Sri Lanka: Danushka Gunathilaka, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Liyanage/Mishara, Dinesh Chandimal, Dasun Shanaka, Chamika Karunaratne, Dushmantha Chameera, Jeffrey Vandersay, Binura/Kumara, Praveen Jayawickrama

India: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Harshal Patel, Bhuvi/Siraj, Chahal/Bishnoi, Jasprit Bumrah


Pitch Report

Almost 80% of the T20I wickets in Lucknow are picked by pacers and spinners average almost double compared to pace. Par score here should be around 150-155.


Head to Head

Overall: India leads 14-7
In India: India leads 8-2
Under Rohit: India leads 4-1


Match Ups

  • Rohit vs Chameera: 24 runs off 18 balls for 4 dismissals
  • Gunathilaka vs Bumrah: 7 runs off 19 balls for 1 dismissal
  • Gunathilaka vs Chahal: 5 runs for 2 dismissals (in ODIs)
  • Shanaka vs Bumrah: 9 runs off 7 balls for 1 dismissal
  • Shanaka vs Jadeja: 8 runs off 19 balls for 1 dismissal
  • Shanaka vs Chahal: 13 runs off 18 balls for 1 dismissal


Key Players


Venkatesh Iyer: After an impressive outing in the 2nd half of IPL, Iyer was immediately selected as a net bowler for India in the T20 WC and was handed his international debut in the very next series against NZ. With Pandya out of the team for various reasons, management trusted him with a new role at 6. With 3 back-to-back crucial cameos of 24*(13), 33(18), 35*(19) against West Indies, he has taken a huge leap forward in cementing his place.

Sanju Samson: The national team doors seemed to be closed for Sanju but with injuries and some players being rested, it has once again given him a huge opportunity to stamp his authority at the international level. The Rajasthan Royals skipper racked up 484 runs at an SR of 136 in 2021 IPL.

Jasprit Bumrah: He is back and fresh after a 30-day break post South Africa series. Lankan batters recently had plenty of issues against the likes of Hazlewood and Cummins. Their top order was blown away in every game and with Bumrah-Siraj it's not going to get any better. He will be playing a T20 series at home after more than 2 years.

Sri Lanka

Pathum Nissanka: He was the highest scorer against Australia with 184 runs. He almost saw SL home in the tied T20I match with his 73. One major criticism regarding Nissanka is his strike rate. He starts at run-a-ball and fails to accelerate as the innings progresses. A career strike rate of 116 after 16 innings is a testimony to his style of play. Asalanka is another batter SL will heavily rely on in the middle order. He scored a quickfire 44 against India in his last encounter.

Dushmantha Chameera: He is the leader of SL's pace attack in limited overs. It's very rare for Sri Lanka to have 2 bowlers who bowl in the excess of 140 kmph. Initial overs of Chameera and Kumara are their best bets to cause early damage with the ball as couple of Indian batters are a little uncomfortable against high pace. Chameera bowled decently in his last series against Australia. In 2 games he took 4 wickets in the death overs and did not allow the hosts to get a par score.

Chamika Karunaratne: Batting down the order he can cause some damage with the bat in the end overs. Scored 90 runs at an SR of 115 in the last ODI series against India. Sri Lanka lack quality power hitters at the death and Chamika-Shanaka will have an uphill task against the likes of Bumrah and Harshal.


Form Update
(last 5 T20I innings)



  • Sri Lanka has 2 wins in the last 9 T20Is
  • India has a win-streak of 9 T20Is
  • No Indian batsman averages lower against a team than Rohit against SL (22.2)
  • Samson is the only Indian player to bat in Top7 and not cross 30 even once in the first 10 T20I innings.


Fantasy XI


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