IND vs SL: Major Talking Points

IND vs SL: Major Talking Points
Image Source: @BCCI

IND vs SL: Major Talking Points

India set to lock horns with Sri Lanka in the 3 match T20 series amid a few injuries. Rohit led team won the series against New Zealand and West Indies after a disastrous World Cup exit and they will be looking to continue the form as they try out different combinations for the T20 World Cup in Australia. 

Sri Lanka is coming from a series defeat in Australia but there were a few positives to take from that tough tour and it should be an interesting contest between both sides as Indian batters will look to untangle the spin-web of Sri Lankan spinners across the three-match series.

Some of the major talking points leading into the T20 series are:


Return of Sanju Samson

Since taking the reigns of Rajasthan Royals, we have witnessed a consistent Sanju Samson with the bat, giving a lot of security and stability in the batting unit. He scored 484 runs at an average of 40.33 while striking at 136.72 last IPL season and scored 227 runs at an average of 75.66 and strike rate of 141.87 in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021-22.

It will be interesting to see where Sanju bats in the series as he has better numbers against pace over the years. Even in the last IPL season, he struck at 144.7 against pace and at 119.8 against spin. Ideally, the better spot in the long run will be at no. 5 where he can unleash his natural game against pacers. India will have a lot of flexibility in this series with Shreyas Iyer at 3, Deepak Hooda at 4 and Sanju Samson at 5 while generating good backups in the process for the mega event in Australia later this year.


Who opens with Rohit Sharma?

Rohit Sharma played at no.4 in the final T20 against West Indies to accommodate Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad as openers, but he will be returning to his usual position in the T20 series against Sri Lanka with the position of 2nd opener still up for grabs. If we look back at the press conferences, management has indicated that it will continue to back Ishan Kishan  and has enough faitheven after the forgettable West Indies series as he can float in the batting order while providing the back-up for wicketkeeping. He has been an excellent fielder too. It will be unfortunate for Gaikwad but he will have to wait. Although, it will be interesting to see if Suryakumar's exit opens doors for him or Deepak Hooda.

India can go with 2 options for Top 7.
Combination 1:  Ruturaj, Rohit, Ishan, Shreyas Iyer, Samson, Venkatesh Iyer, Jadeja
Combination 2: Rohit, Ishan, Shreyas Iyer, Hooda, Samson, Venkatesh Iyer, Jadeja



Should India include Siraj?

It has been an eventful few months for Siraj in white-ball cricket. India played its first bilateral series against New Zealand after the WT20 where he missed out majority of games owing to injury. He didn't get any game time in South Africa ODI series but came back in the mix in the home ODI series against the men in maroon where he delivered an impactful performance. Surprisingly, he was benched in the following T20I series which concluded recently.
Looking at the World Cup in Australia, conditions are well-suited for someone like Siraj and it's high time he gets a long rope in this format to cement his place.


Chameera and Asalanka factor

Asalanka has been one of the most consistent Sri Lankan batters in the last few months. He made his debut against India in T20 format last June by scoring 44 runs from 26 balls then followed it by a memorable World Cup with 231 runs from 6 matches at an average of 46.20 and an impressive strike rate of 147.13 but he had a hot and cold Australia series. He did show some glimpses of his mercurial talent in the final T20 scoring a swift 20 from just 9 balls. Asalanka will be vital considering the Chahal-Bishnoi combo in Team India and he will be looking to continue what he has been doing in Asian conditions for the last few months. 

Since coming back from the injury, Chameera has been in fine rhythm in the limited over format. He has been taking wickets with the new ball and turning out to be trustworthy in end overs while playing a very good supporting role to the spinners as well in the middle overs. India had a taste of Chameera last year when India visited and would want to bank on that experience. He took 4 wickets in that  series at an economy rate of just 5.25 and came from a very good T20 series against Australia with 7 wickets at an economy rate of 7.65


Hasaranga Misses Out

Massive blow for Sri Lanka as Hasaranga continues to be unavailable after testing positive for COVID 19 in Australia. He is still in quarantine even after recovering and will be missing the T20 series against India. Theekshana-Jayawickrama combo will be tasked with the spin charge in his absence. Hasaranga has good record over Indian middle-order as he took 7 wickets from 3 T20Is in 2021 and his unavailability is going to reduce the chances Sri Lanka putting up a good fight.. 

Two in-form players of both sides have been ruled out with no Suryakumar for India and no Hasaranga for Sri Lanka and it's time for some newcomers to grab the opportunity in this series.

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