Monday, February 1, 2016

Indian Squad for Sri Lanka T20I's Announced, Virat Kohli Rested

Team India, flying high after their victorious campaign in the T20I's down under where they absolutely decimated and decapitated the Australian team, will host the current ICC WT20 champions Sri Lanka at home for three T20 matches. It was at the hands of a clinical Lankan team that India was defeated in the ICC WT20 2014 in Bangladesh.

The Indian team for the three match series was announced today and the biggest surprise was that the man going through a purple patch, Virat Kohli, was rested ahead of the Asia Cup T20I's and the ICC WT20. Unless he has a niggle and is injured I don't see much sense in this decision of resting him. Sometimes, when you rest a player in good form he losses that golden touch upon comeback. Virat was the leading run scorer in the recently concluded T20I series where he hit a half century in all the three matches tallying 199 runs while getting out only once.

On a positive note the injured Ajinkya Rahane is back and he will be looking to play a few good innings and cement his in the strong middle order. Manish Pandey, after scoring that wonderful maiden hundred in the last ODI to help India win, will also look for an opportunity to showcase his talent in the shortest format of the game.

Yuvraj, the man who struggled to last bat on ball on that black night in Bangladesh will especially be eager to make amends and reclaim his slot in the Indian middle order. Most of the blame for India's loss was put on the head of Yuvraj and rightly so as he had plodded and prodded to a 21 ball 11. Yuvraj redeemed himself partially when he made an impact on the 3rd T20I at Sydney by hitting a four and a six off the first two balls and getting India within touching distance of a win before Raina sealed it with a boundary off the last ball.

On the bowling front of will be interesting to now if Harbhajan gets a chance ahead of Ashwin. Pawan Negi, a left arm spinner has also been picked but it remains to be seen if he can get a game in place of the inform Jadeja. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, the swing bowler, also returns to the squad after missing out on the Australia series with a fractured thumb.

Revenge is a very unpleasant word and I don't believe in it, but India will be eager to face Sri Lanka again in the same format. There will be that little extra motivation for the team to go all out for a win. They must have been looking forward to this tie for quite some time so that some haunting ghosts from the past can be laid to rest.

India's Fantastico T20 squad for Sri Lanka T20I series
MS Dhoni (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pawan Negi.

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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