The Sri Lankan youngsters managed to topple the experienced Indian line up on a green pitch in Pune which provided their pace bowlers plenty of movement of the deck and in the air. But on a dry Ranchi track the Indian spin bowlers strangulated the Sri Lankan batsmen after their batsmen had posted a mammoth 196 batting first. The third T20I will be played at Visakhapatnam and I doubt that the pitch will support the fast bowlers.
Let us look at 3 Fantastico Battles that can make a huge impact on the outcome of the 3rd T20I:
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma Vs Kasun Rajitha
The entire top order was literally blown away by the debutant Kasun Rajitha in Pune where he found ample swing and movement to trouble all the Indian batsmen but on a dry track in Ranchi he struggled to find the correct line and length and was made to pay. He was taken for 45 in his 4 overs as Dhawan and Rohit both laid into him. Rajitha will be looking to get his own back in this final match and his battle with the Indian openers will make for a fascinating viewing.
Dushmantha Chameera Vs Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh
Chameera hustled the Indian batsmen on a green-top in Pune but surprisingly he kept them on their ties in Ranchi as well. Although he went for 38 in his four overs, he was very difficult to negotiate for the Indian batsmen and several of those runs came via outside and inside edges. He was their best bowler and got both Dhawan and Rohit to slow the Indian charge. He will be looking to dismantle the Indian middle order with his aggressive bowling which has not been in the best of form recently. He is also a superb fielder, having taken flying catches off Rohit in both the T20I's.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja Vs The Lankan Middle Order
R Ashwin followed up his 3-0-13-2 at Pune with an even better 4-0-14-3 at Ranchi. He had managed to trouble even their best batsmen, Kumar Sangakkara, when India had toured Sri Lanka for the Test series last year. He is relishing the opportunity to have a crack at the young Lankan middle order which has seemed too overawed by his variations and skills. Milinda Siriwardene played him the best in both the matches and Sri Lanka might consider giving him a promotion. Dasun Shanaka also played a peppy little knock in the last match hitting three sixes against the Indian spinners. Jadeja has not been that effective in the two matches and the Lankan batsmen might have to take extra risks against him if Ashwin manages to keep them quiet.
The 3rd and the final T20I between Sri Lanka and India will be crucial in deciding the outcome of the series and it will also give the winning side a mental uplift ahead of the two bigger events coming up, the T20 Asia Cup and the ICC WT20!!