India will try to win their second series in as many weeks. They will build on the advances gained in the second T20 International against Sri Lanka on Saturday. They made a significant alteration in their batting strategy.
After an early exit from the T20 World Cup last year, India had to look in the mirror. But four months later, they appear to be a transformed outfit. A slew of youngsters is being tested out in various positions and roles.
It is still early days but the Rohit Sharma-led squad picked out the core set of players. They will fly to Australia for the World Cup Down Under later this year.
Young opener Ishan Kishan got a tremendous dose of confidence in the series opener on Thursday. Finding strike rotation tough in the preceding series, Kishan was able to overcome that weakness against the Sri Lankan bowlers. There is no time to settle in a T20 game. India has finally realized that, allowing them to post 180 plus totals regularly.
If it wasn’t for Ruturaj Gaikwad’s wrist injury, he could have opened alongside Kishan. Rohit would have dropped himself down the order as he did against the West Indies. The same could happen on Saturday if Gaekwad is able to regain full fitness.
Rohit is so polished that he hasn’t wasted any time regaining his rhythm after an injury layoff. He looked in sublime touch en route to his 44. Shreyas Iyer made merry at number three in the absence of the rested Virat Kohli. He would be aiming to repeat that for the rest of the series.
India is also improving in the bowling department. On Thursday, they utilized as many as seven different players, including Deepak Hooda, and the majority of them performed admirably. Venkatesh Iyer was a little pricey, but he did take a couple of wickets.
To halt India’s 10-match winning streak in the spiritual birthplace of the Dalai Lama, Sri Lanka would have to put in a particular effort.
Sri Lanka struggled to compete in the opening game due to a misfiring top-order and the absence of frontline spinners Mahesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga.
Even the presence of skipper Dasun Shanaka in the bowling attack did not aid the Indians, who were unstoppable with the bat.
In comparison to Lucknow, the temperature will be colder at night. The players will have limited time to acclimate to the conditions because there is only one day between the two games.