Sri Lanka in India, 3 T20I Series, 2020
Venue: Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati
Date & Time: 05 January 2020
RR: 0 | Match Abandoned
UPDATE - 9.55 PM LOCAL (1625 GMT) - THE MATCH HAS BEEN CALLED OFF. Sad news for the fans. But that rain shower really put everyone off. It was raining since afternoon and in spite of the game being scheduled in the evening, with clear skies before the toss, the return of rain caused disturbances. And that improper covering made things worse. So this now becomes a 2-match series with the second T20I scheduled on Tuesday, 7th January 2020 at 7 pm local (1330 GMT). See ya!
UPDATE - 9.30 PM LOCAL (1600 GMT) - The pitch inspection is done. No official news though. The umpires don't see too happy.
UPDATE - 9 PM LOCAL (1530 GMT) - The covers are off but we are still not starting. Because the pitch has not been dried out completely. The groundstaff has tried out the hair dryer, then an iron and now a heavy roller. Virat Kohli was not happy at all. The umpires are now at the pitch and inspecting. The next and possibly, the final inspection is at 9.30 PM LOCAL (1600 GMT).
UPDATE - 8 PM LOCAL (1430 GMT) - The next inspection has been pushed down to 9 pm local. There is some water on the pitch, don't know how, in spite of the covers. There are some patches developing and the covers are being brought back on. We are now looking at a shortened game. In fact, it has STARTED TO DRIZZLE AGAIN.
UPDATE - 7.50 PM LOCAL (1420 GMT) - Great news! The rain has stopped and the covers are almost off the pitch. Just the one covering is there, which should not see much delay in the game starting.
Okay before we could start the first game of the decade for India and Sri Lanka, rain wants to have some say in the game. It's drizzling right now and the covers are firmly on the pitch. Can be just a passing shower. Or, let's hope so. Well, it is not just a drizzle. It is raining heavily right now. So, seems like we are in for a delayed start.
Sri Lanka (Playing XI) - Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (WK), Oshada Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Isuru Udana, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lahiru Kumara, Lasith Malinga (C).
INDIA (Playing XI) - Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah.
Sri Lanka captain, Lasith Malinga, says that wicket might not change much but tells that he would've bowled first too. Feels it is not in their control and they will try to post a good first innings total. Says that they are trying to get their 15 sorted for the World Cup too. Tells that they have three seamers and two spinners in the side.
Indian captain, Virat Kohli, says that this is a chasing ground and tells that two times teams have won batting second. On the dew already present on the ground, the Indian skipper says that it's not a bad thing. Tells that with a lot of dew on the grounds, defending total is a difficult task. On India's not so good record in T20Is, the Indian skipper tells that they have World Cup in their sight and they will prepare keeping it in mind. Feels that they have the chance of improving their T20I record as well. Tells that there are three proper fast bowlers in the side. Reveals that Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sanju Samson and Ravindra Jadeja are the players who miss out.
Toss - Virat Kohli flips the coin and it lands in his favour. INDIA WILL BOWL FIRST.
Pitch report - Murali Kartik and Sunil Gavaskar are in for the pitch report. Gavaskar tells that there are cracks just outside the off stump of the right-hander. Feels this is not a pretty-looking pitch. Believes that the spinners will get a lot of purchase from this wicket. Kartik tells that there is dew on the pitch already and says that the last ODI played on this ground was high a scoring one. Gavaskar reckons that the team winning the toss will opt to chase on this wicket.
It is time for the first match of the new decade for India as they face off against the island nation of Sri Lanka in Guwahati at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium. The new year has brought good news for many Indian fans as southpaw Shikhar Dhawan and more importantly, Jasprit Bumrah have returned to the squad. They will want to flex in this series their muscles with a much more competitive ODI series coming up against the Aussies. Rohit Sharma was in superb form in 2019 and he has been given a well-deserved rest in this series. Coming to the hosts, they will be led by legendary pace bowler and T20 specialist Lasith Malinga. He too will be looking to test his team before the soon approaching ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. The hosts are favourites and everyone is expecting them to whitewash the Sri Lankans, especially considering the recent tour of the visiting side against Australia. However, you can never be sure of what to expect from Malinga and his men. Do not go away as the Toss and Pitch Report are coming right up.
Sri Lanka Team Squad -Avishka Fernando,Bhanuka Rajapaksa,Oshada Fernando,Angelo Mathews,Danushka Gunathilaka,Dasun Shanaka,Dhananjaya de Silva,Isuru Udana,Kusal Mendis,Kusal Perera,Niroshan Dickwella,Kasun Rajitha,Lahiru Kumara,Lakshan Sandakan,Lasith Malinga,Wanindu Hasaranga
India Team Squad -Manish Pandey,Shikhar Dhawan,Shreyas Iyer,Virat Kohli,Ravindra Jadeja,Shivam Dube,Washington Sundar,KL Rahul,Rishabh Pant,Sanju Samson,Jasprit Bumrah,Kuldeep Yadav,Navdeep Saini,Shardul Thakur,Yuzvendra Chahal
2020 has started. So, India and Sri Lanka are ready to start the year with a T20I series, a 3-match series it is with the first one to be played at Guwahati. Interestingly, India's regular skipper Virat Kohli is at the helm for the series and not Rohit Sharma who had been leading India in the past couple of series against the Lankans. Rohit has been rested for this series. The hosts also see the return of their star bowler, Jasprit Bumrah who has recovered from a long injury layoff. Along with him, Shikhar Dhawan too is making a comeback. However, that is more because Rohit has been rested. He though has a chance to prove his mettle and stay in the reckoning even when Rohit returns to the side. India edged out West Indies in their last T20I series to finish an unbelievable 2019. Going into the ICC T20 World Cup, this series will help India figure out their strengths and weaknesses. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, were hammered by Australia in the 3-match series losing it 3-0. Led by Lasith Malinga, the Lankan Lions will be roaring to start the new year on a high. Before their series against Australia, Dasun Shanaka had led Sri Lanka for the series against Pakistan and had come out victorious after whitewashing the hosts. Notably, a few of their major players were not part of that series. The visitors will look to draw some inspiration from the team that toured Pakistan and try to challenge the Indians who have been at their dominant best, especially at home. The likes of Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando and Danushka Gunathilaka are powerful strikers of the ball and would try to utilize the shorter boundaries. Going into the World Cup, the Lankans too will be trying out combinations which they would want to send to Australia later in the year. Will we get to see Sri Lanka challenging the hosts or will India continue their domination over the island nation? Let's hope that we get a cracker of a series between the two sides.