Rohit Sharma’s team cannot afford to lose to Sri Lanka in Dubai on Tuesday. If they do so, the defending champions will have to rely on other results going their way to have a chance of making the final. And Sri Lanka will become favourites for a place in the summit clash.
Sri Lanka WWLWL (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Pakistan’s Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan stifled India on Sunday, and Sri Lanka will hope their spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana can do the same. Both Hasaranga and Theekshana have impressive numbers in the UAE, and also have experience of bowling to the Indian batters at the IPL. On the flip side, India too will be aware of the tricks they have. All in all, it could be a contest that decides the game.
Pitch and conditions
The last three games in Dubai featured five innings with scores in excess of 180. However, it all depends on which pitch Tuesday’s match will be played on, and its location on the square will decide if there’s a shorter boundary for batters to exploit. Evening temperatures will be around 35°C and the night will not be much cooler, which reduces the chances of dew playing a role in the chase.
Expect Sri Lanka, searching for a hat-trick of wins, to stick with the same XI.
Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Mendis (wk), 3 Charith Asalanka, 4 Danushka Gunathilaka, 5 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Asitha Fernando, 11 Dilshan Madushanka.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Dinesh Karthik/Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Arshdeep Singh, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
“When it comes to Asian cricket, everyone talks about India-Pakistan games. But I don’t mind the [lack of] big talk [around our team]. I would prefer to focus on the way we are playing.”
Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka is happy with his side flying under the radar
“When you are under pressure, anyone can make a mistake. It was a big match. The situation was also tight… but when the environment is good, you learn from those situations. And you look forward to the next opportunity. I give the credit to the captain and the team management for creating such an environment where everyone feels that the next time such an opportunity comes, we want to seize it.”
Virat Kohli backs Arshdeep Singh after the bowler dropped a crucial catch in the defeat to Pakistan
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