India has just completed a T20 series win against the West Indies, but they will have no time to rest and savor their series win as the BCCI has scheduled another back-to-back home series.
Sri Lanka is set to play a three-match T20 series against India followed by two test matches. The Sri Lankans are coming off a 5 match T20 series in Australia where they have been outplayed. They will prefer returning to the sub-continent and playing on pitches that suit their style.
However, it will be a difficult challenge for the Lankan Lions as India has been on a roll, winning the three-match ODI series 3-0 and then the T20 series 2-0. At the time of this writing, the 3rd T20 is yet to take place, and India will be pushing hard to complete another series whitewash and finish with a 3-0 lead.
India – Betting Favorites For T20 Series
The first T20 is set to take place on Feb 25 at Lucknow, while the remaining two T20 games will take place at Dharamsala on Feb 27 and 28. All three games will be night games, and the side that bats first will likely have the advantage due to the due factor that could come into play, especially at Dharamsala.
India has the momentum and the confidence under their belt and knows that a win in the first T20 will put the visitors under pressure as they lost the first four T20 games against Australia in the five-match series. The fifth T20 is yet to occur at the time of this writing, and Sri Lanka is in danger of suffering a 5-0 whitewash down under.
If they lose 5-0 and then come to India and lose the first T20, they will be under immense pressure as Sri Lankans are very passionate about cricket and are not very happy with what is happening with Sri Lankan cricket.
India goes in as the betting favorites and should win the series either 3-0 or 2-1 at best. If you are a betting man, we suggest putting your money on India to win the series.
India – Strengthen T20 Squad
India has made a few changes to their T20 squad as a couple of players who played the T20 series against the West Indies have been rested. The selectors gave Virat Kohli, R Pant, and S Thakur a break from T20 games. We don’t know if Kohli requested a break or is happy to get a break as the relationship between Kohli and the selectors is strained after he was removed as the ODI captain.
The selectors have appointed J Bumrah as the vice-captain for both the T20 and the test format. Bumrah missed the series against the West Indies but will be back to make the bowling attack a lot more lethal.
The selectors have drafted in S Samson in place of R Pant and can use I Kishan behind the stumps. R Jadeja also makes his return to the T20 squad after missing out on a chunk of cricket in all game formats due to injury.
The selectors are likely to stick to a similar squad that played against the West Indies and, once they have won the series, could experiment in the final T20 with some of the younger faces in the squad, such as Avesh Khan and R Gaikwad.
Rohit Sharma – Stamping His Authority
The 3 match ODI series win and the T20 series win against the West Indies will give new captain Rohit Sharma confidence. Sharma took over from V Kohli and needed to stamp his authority and leadership on the side quickly, and he has done that by leading India to a double series win over the West Indies.
Sharma hadn’t done as well as he would have liked with the bat but will still be happy with the results as different players had put their hands up and made it count when it mattered. Along with head coach Rahul Dravid, Sharma is looking to build and finalize the T20 World Cup squad and use the Sri Lanka series to decide which players will be part of the T20 World Cup squad.
The Indian players you need to watch out for against Sri Lanka include young guns I Kishan, S Yadav, S Samson, R Bishnoi, and R Gaikwad.