Friday, February 12, 2016

Fired Up Sri Lanka take on India in MS Dhoni's Den

India Vs Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I at Ranchi - Match Preview.

Sri Lanka fielded a virtually unrecognizable side in the first T20I against India at Pune but by the end of the match, the motley bunch of youngsters had ensured that the world sit up and take notice of their performances as they went on to outclass their much fancied Indian superstars.

India would be hurting after the loss in Pune, more so as the team had defeated Australia 3-0 in Australia. India will need to re group quickly and their batsmen will have to shoulder up the responsibility at Ranchi. Rohit, the man who made runs in every innings in Australia was out for a duck while Yuvraj struggled against the pace of Chameera. Raina and Dhawan were out playing mindless slogs and it will be wise on their part to exercise some discretion and respect to the bowler where it is due.

On the bowling front, Nehra and Bumrah were good early on and miserly. Ashwin troubled all the Lankan batsmen on a green deck and with the Ranchi track looking like it will assist the spin bowlers, Ashwin might prove to be too hot to handle for the inexperienced Sri Lankan batsmen. India might also call upon Pawan Negi to assess him before the WT20 begins in place of Hardik Pandya who has not set the world alight with his performances in the last 4 T20I's.

The Lankan side might resist changes but with Dilshan fit after recovering from the hand injury, he might replace Niroshan Dickwella at the top of the order to provide the solidity and experience.

Dinesh Chandimal and Kapugedera both played sensible knocks in the last game but they might have to be more attacking in this game and that will test them. MIlinda Siriwardana looks to be a fine player with class and timing oozing from what I have of him thus far. He will be a vital cog in the Lankan middle order in the absence of Angelo Mathews.

The real stars for the Lankans in Pune were their Fantastico pace trio of Kasun Rajitha, Dasun Shanaka and Dushmantha Chameera who rattled the strong Indian batting and snared 8 wickets between them They all pitched the ball in the right areas and found appreciable and disconcerting movement. Chameera clocked close to 150kph and he was deadly accurate which would surely trouble any batsman in the world. I would play Jeffrey Vandersay, a leg break bowler in place of Thisara Perera as the Ranchi pitch will surely provide ample assistance to the slower bowlers.

The Ranchi track is also under the scanner as it appears unusually dry,a contrasting and completely opposite sight the Pune pitch which was green. Even the outfield is barren and the bounce may be uneven and hence fielding might play a big role in the outcome of the match.

The Indians might have been outplayed by the peppy bunch of Sri Lankan youngsters at Pune but the Indians will surely be more wary of their counterparts and will be looking to avoid a loss. The Sri Lankans, for their part, have announced that they are not here to just take part but to compete and they have the ammunition and the fire power to match India in every department.

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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