Sri Lanka takes on India in the 3rd and final T20I of the T20I series today, at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. This match comes just one day after the conclusion of the 2nd T20I, which was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test for Krunal Pandya.
With Krunal and those deemed his close contacts unavailable for selection, India had just eleven of twenty players to choose from. While they added their net bowlers to their squad, India was forced to field the remaining eleven players, resulting in a slightly off-balanced team.
They handed out debuts to four players, including Devdutt Padikkal and Ruturaj Gaikwad, who made their first appearances on this tour. Put into bat, India got off to a decent start on a sluggish track.
However, things began to unravel after Ruturaj Gaikwad was dismissed in the 7th over. The Sri Lankan tweakers spun a web around the Indian batters, and while Devdutt Padikkal tried to launch a counter-attack, he was castled by Hasaranga.
Skipper Shikhar Dhawan also perished after a 42-ball 40. The Sri Lankan bowlers made full use of India’s limited batting strength and didn’t give much away.
None of their bowlers had an economy rate greater than 7.50, showing that India were never allowed to get away at any stage of the innings. While India started promisingly with the ball, Minod Bhanuka rode his luck to take Sri Lanka to a decent position.
Dhananjaya de Silva anchored the chase, batting at No.5, and finished with a mature and composed 34-ball 40. Wanindu Hasaranga and Chamika Karunaratne also contributed some vital runs as Sri Lanka scampered home despite a spirited bowling effort from India.
With the series well poised at 1-1 and India likely to be a batter short once more, the 3rd T20I could make for a very thrilling series decider.