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India vs Sri Lanka 2020 Series, 3rd T20I Preview & Dream XI Predictions

The third and final T20I of India vs Sri Lanka 2020 series is all set to be played at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Friday, January 10. India won the second T20I at Indore by 7 wickets and are leading the series 1-0. This happened after the first T20I in Guwahati was washed out due to rain and a damp pitch. Having a lead in the series, India would look to wrap up the series with a win before they host Australia for a three-match ODI series from January 14.

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The final game of the India vs Sri Lanka 2020 series, gives India a chance to experiment with the playing XI. The likes of Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey who are in the squad since the Bangladesh series and still haven’t played a game can be given a go. Shreyas Iyer has secured his place at number four in the shortest format and his quickfire 34 in the last game has all the more strengthened his position. KL flourished at the top, scoring a fluent 45. Shikhar Dhawan on his return scored 45. With the top-order sorted, Samson and Pandey can be tested in the middle-order. While Samson can come in for Rishabh Pant, Pandey can come in for Shivam Dube who didn’t bowl in the last game and didn’t get a chance to bat as well. Meanwhile, this is another chance for Dhawan to get an innings of substance and in the process push his case for selection in India’s World T20 squad.

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The bowling line-up seems sorted with Jasprit Bumrah leading the attack. Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav being the bowling options. However, with the first game of the India vs Sri Lanka 2020 series abandoned and India winning the second game handsomely, there is a little chance that the playing XI will be changed. Also, there are no injury concerns at the moment with Team India, which otherwise would have influenced a change in the playing XI.

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Sri Lanka, on the other end, has problems. Their batsmen barring Kusal Perera failed to put up any resistance in Indore. Angelo Mathews, their most experienced player in the squad was not included in the first game. Sri Lanka are also missing the services of Thisara Perera who has not been included in the squad for the series. While their overall inexperience in the squad apart from Lasith Malinga and Mathews is a big problem, they have a few injury concerns as well. Oshada Fernando suffered a blow to his hand in the nets but does not seem to be in doubt for the game. Isuru Udana, meanwhile, has been ruled out after hurting his lower-back and knee in the first T20I and will most likely be replaced by Mathews.

Sri Lanka are also looking at resurrecting their form in T20Is. They are facing their fifth straight defeat in T20Is and second successive against India. Incidentally, the Islanders are also not automatic qualifiers for the World T20 in Australia in October later this year and they will need to play the qualifiers as well. However, they have a motivation to look forward to in Pune in the final game of the India vs Sri Lanka 2020 series. The last time they played a T20I against India in Pune, they bowled India out for just 101. MS Dhoni was still the limited-overs captain of India then. The 2014 World T20 winners thus have a tough road ahead and need to sort out their batting woes and build a strong squad for the event.

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Meanwhile, here are the key stats and trivia to look forward to in the final game of the India vs Sri Lanks 2020 series.

  1. India were bowled out for 101 in the last T20I held at Pune. Incidentally, their opponents then were Sri Lanka.
  2. Mathews averages 78.00 in India with the bat in T20Is.
  3. Since the start of this home season in September 2019, Virat Kohli averages 147 in T20Is.
  4. Sri Lanka are looking to avoid a fifth straight T20I loss.

Here is the dream XI team for the match.

Squads

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

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

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