The world No. 2 ranking clinched following a dominating 4-1 triumph in the ODIs, India will now look to stamp its authority over Sri Lanka in the only Twenty20 international here on Tuesday.
India’s domination was reflected in the margin of victory and it would look to carry its rampaging form to the shortest version of cricket as well.
Sri Lanka and India have played only four T20s since 2009, with both teams winning two each and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men will look to gain the upper hand. The match also holds prominence considering the fact that the T20 World Cup is round the corner and it would be hosted by Sri Lanka from September 18.
The Indian team had a smooth comeback to international cricket after a rather long break. Its batsmen fared well and so did the bowlers.
Even all-rounders such as Irfan Pathan performed satisfactorily, prompting coach Duncan Fletcher to say that he would soon command a regular place in the ODI team.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had nothing to show beside the only victory in the second ODI and the hosts will now pin hopes on the young guns in the T20 international.
Sri Lanka’s problems were many. Losing Kumar Sangakkara through injury and having to contend with a below par Lasith Malinga and a Mahela Jayawardene reluctant to take more responsibility up the order.
The silver lining, however, was the unexpected gutsy performances of some of the lesser known names such as the left-handed Lahiru Thirimanne and Jeewan Mendis, not so young in terms of age. Among the seniors, Tillakaratne Dilshan has failed to fire in the ODI series.
The teams (from): India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt.), Virat Kohli (vice-capt.), Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, Rohit Sharma, R. Ashwin, Pragyan Ojha, Zaheer Khan, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Irfan Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary and Rahul Sharma.
Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (capt.), Angelo Mathews (vice-capt.), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Kumar Sangakkara, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Nuwan Kulasekara, Thisara Perera, Lahiru Thirimanne, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedara, Rangana Herath, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeevan Mendis and Isuru Udana. — PTI