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Sri Lanka go out with confidence against depleted India

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Sri Lanka will meet India in their first T – 20 match of the three match series today (3) at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai, India commencing from 7pm (Sri Lanka time).

Team India will be ready with Hardik Pandya the new skipper leading the team in 2023’s first international home series whil Dasun Shanaka and his team also take on this challenge with confidence after the successful LPL franchise tournament.

The experienced regular Indian skipper Rohit Sharma sustained a thumb injury during the Bangladesh tour recently, but he will be returning as captain in the ODI series starting on January 10. Rishabh Pant, India’s vice-captain in T20Is during the recent tour to New Zealand, was left out of the squad of 16 by the team management after he met with an unexpected accident. However Suryakumar Yadav the inform batter has been promoted as Hardik’s deputy in Pant’s absence. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, both senior Indian batters, have also opted out of the T20I series which is a big blow. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, India’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is this year, has also been dropped from the squad, with Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik expected to take his place. Pandya’s new look side has been strengthened with many all rounders and most of them have good IPL experience which will benefit them at the T-20 format.

Meanwhile Sri Lanka side also not yet been decided on their openers till the final training session which was scheduled to be held last evening. The 18 member Sri Lanka team are in good shape and they are training in Mumbai said a senior member of the team management.

The new deputy skipper Wanindu Hasaranga of the T- 20 team has more confidence after successful last Asia Cup tournament in UAE. Hasaranga was the Man of the Series at the Asia Cup and he has bowled well against India where Sri Lanka beat them to enter the Asia Cup final.

Sri Lankan top order batter the powerful stroke maker Bhanuka Rajapaksa was not among the runs at last LPL franchise tournament and but management is confident Rajapaksa can come back at this T 20 series. We have not finalized the team, it will be done today after the final wicket observation. We have good batting line up Kusal Mendis the top form batter and LPL Man of the Series Avishka Fernando who is in good touch with the bat while new comers Nuwanindu Fernando, wicket keeper Sadeera Samarawickrama and all rounder Dhananjaya de Silva, Ashen Bandara and Chamika Karunaratne are among the runs at the recently concluded tournaments and that is a plus point for the Sri Lanka team. Two key spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana both have IPL experience while paceman Kasun Rajitha who was in top form at the LPL and we have lot of choices to name best eleven today to make a winning start for the series said a senior member of the management from Mumbai.

The Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai has good memories where Sri Lanka met India at the 2011 World Cup final and Mahela Jayawardena struck a superb century but Sri Lanka finally lost to India to end as runners up. The venue is familiar for the IPL players which is Mumbai Indians home venue is coached by former Sri Lanka skipper Mahela Jayawardena.

The ‘Daily News” learnt that Mahela Jayawardena the coaching consaltant of the National team gave few tips to the team with his experience and head coach Chris Silverwood and Assistant coach Naveed Nawaz and selector on tour Hemantha Wickramaratne and Manager Mahinda Halangoda had a meeting with Jayawardena before the series which will benefit the Sri Lanka team.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023 – 01:00











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