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India vs Sri Lanka 2020, 1st T20I Preview: Full-Strength India Presents Tough Challenge For Islanders

The Indian cricket team starts their Mission 2020 by hosting Sri Lanka for a three-match T20I series to start the year. Virat Kohli and Lasith Malinga will resume their rivalry as both of them lead their respective teams in the series. The first of the three T20Is in the India vs Sri Lanka 2020 series will be played will be played at the Baspara Cricket Stadium in Guwahati. The second and the third T20Is will be played at Indore and Pune respectively on 7th and 10th January.

Photo Source: ( https://www.bcci.tv/)

The BCCI has announced a full-strength squad for this three-match T20I series. Shikhar Dhawan and Jasprit Bumrah both make a comeback into the squad after regaining full fitness from their respective injuries. Rohit Sharma and Mohammad Shami have been rested for the series despite which this looks a fairly full-strength squad that the board has announced. In this experimental phase of Indian cricket, building up to the World T20 in Australia, the selectors have also ensured to announce a good bunch of youngsters in the line-up as well.

Also Read: Full List of India’s Cricket Calendar in 2020

Sanju Samson has been picked for another series after being included in the T20I series against Bangladesh. After being benched for the entire series, Samson would like to get a game in the series. Shivam Dube, who is the designated allrounder in this experimental phase has also managed to keep his place. Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer continue to be a part of the squad as well as Rishabh Pant, who is India’s first-choice wicket-keeper at the moment. After having a string of failures with the bat, Pant finally found some form as he scored 71 and 39 in the first two ODIs of the series. With two wicket-keeping options in the team, it will be interesting to see how the management uses the options.

Bumrah returns to lead the bowling attack after a layoff due to a stress fracture. He missed the series against South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies at home in the meantime. Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini are the other pacers in the squad with Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav forming the Indian spin trio.

Angelo Mathews last played a T20I in August 2018.
Photo Source: ( https://www.gettyimages.in/ )

As far as Sri Lanka’s squad is concerned, they have recalled their most experienced player Angelo Mathews in the side for the series. Keeping in mind the World T20 later this year in Australia, Mathews will be an invaluable asset with his experience. He and Malinga provide the otherwise inexperienced squad some much-needed weight.

Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Danushka Gunathilaka and Niroshan Dickwella form the young crop of next-generation cricketers from Sri Lanka. Every series they play will add onto their experience.

Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Kusal Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan form the bowling attack for the Lankans in the series. They have a tough task of bowling against the likes of Kohli, Dhawan and Rahul, the top three of the Indian batting line-up.

Also Read: India’s schedule in the ICC World Test Championship

India have 11 wins against Sri Lanka so far, their joint-most against any team in the world. If the whitewash the Lankans in the series, they will go past Pakistan who have the most number of T20I wins against Sri Lanka (13). Sri Lanka, however, are in a good run of form at the moment. They beat England in the 2019 World Cup after which they won 3-0 in the T20Is and also they beat South Africa in South Africa by a 2-0 margin in Tests and also Bangladesh 1-0.

They can certainly drive confidence out of their recent success and look to turn the tables on a highly competitive Indian cricket team. The India vs Sri Lanka 2020 series, also kicks off Lanka’s preparations for the T20 World Cup as well.

Squads

India

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

Sri Lanka

Lasith Malinga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Dhananjaya De Silva, Isuru Udana, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Kusal Mendis, Lakshan Sandakan

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