India’s three match T20 series against Sri Lanka was turned into a two match series after the first T20 was a washout due to bad weather. The second T20 at Indore on Jan 7 was the first game for both India and Sri Lanka in T20 and both sides were eager to get a win and start the New Year on a winning note!
India Bowlers Dominate
Sri Lanka were sent into bat after Virat Kohli won the toss. Sri Lanka got off to a reasonable start before Washington Sundar struck and removed Avishka Fernando who was looking good. Navdeep Saini struck in the 8th over to remove Danushka Gunathilaka to leave Sri Lanka at 54-2.
The Lankans tried to rebuild their innings as Kusal Perera took charge. Kuldeep Yadav, however, picked up two quick wickets to expose the lower middle order to the pace of Saini and Shardul Thakur. The two young fast bowlers had a great game and managed to pick up 5 wickets between them. Thakur finished with 3 wickets and gave away just 23 runs. Saini took two wickets and was even more miserly conceding just 18 runs.
Jasprit Bumrah had a rather quiet game by his standards but the selectors will be happy to see him back in the side after an injury layoff. He took just one wicket and conceded 32 runs in his spell. Sri Lanka’s lower order found it very difficult to find the boundary at will. Moreover, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and could only manage to get to 142-9 in their 20 overs.
India Have Smooth Chase
Sri Lanka needed to get early wickets if they were going to put any sort of pressure on the Indian batting line up. They needed their captain Lasith Malinga to fire but he had a poor game conceding 41 runs in his 4 overs and did not take any wickets.
The new opening partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul worked well for the Indians as Rahul continued his good form and made an impressive 45 of 32 balls. Just when he looked set he got out and that brought Shreyas Iyer to the crease as India decided to send him ahead of Kohli.
It did not take long for Kohli to join Iyer as Dhawan quickly followed Rahul. Dhawan got out for 32 and will be upset with himself for not kicking on and getting a big score. Dhawan is currently in the side because the selectors have decided to rest Rohit Sharma for this series.
Iyer and V Kohli played well together and took the game away from Sri Lanka. Iyer fell for 34 just as India neared the finishing line. Kohli remained unbeaten on 30 of just 17 balls to help India get the victory in just 17.3 overs.
Saini was given the man of the match award for his good bowling performance. He also received high praise from his skipper and so did Thakur. India will most likely go with the same squad for the final T20 in Pune on Jan 10.
Odds still favour hosts
The easy victory for India at Indore has strengthened their betting odds for the third and final T20. India currently have odds of 1.23 against Sri Lanka’s 4.05. Expect those odds to be more in favour of Sri Lanka as we approach game day. India will go hard at the Lankan Lions in Pune. They will want to win 2-0 and improve their T20 record ahead of the 2020 World Cup in Australia.