Indian bowler Navdeep Saini celebrate with team mates the wicket of Sri Lankan batsman Kusal Perera during the third T20 cricket match against Sri Lanka and India at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. Photo: PTI
India defeated Sri Lanka by 78 runs in the third and final T20 International to win the the three-match series 2-0 at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Friday. Sent into bat, India rode on K L Rahul (54 off 36) and Shikhar Dhawan's (52 off 36) 97-run opening stand to post a challenging 201 for six in their allotted 20 overs. Manish Pandey then smashed 31 off 18 balls and skipper Virat Kohli, batting at number six, scored a brisk 17-ball 26.
But India wouldn't have crossed 200-run mark had it not been for Shardul Thakur's blistering 22 off only eight balls. He smashed two sixes and a boundary. Defending the total, the Indian bowlers, led by right-arm pacer Navdeep Saini (3/28) Shardul Thakur (2/19), dished out a disciplined effort to bundle out Sri Lanka for 123 in 15.5 overs. Off-spinner Washington Sundar also picked up two wickets giving away 37 runs from his four overs. India, thus, won the series 2-0 after registering a comprehensive seven-wicket win in the second T20 International in Indore. The first match of the series was washed out in Guwahati without a ball being bowled.
Shikhar Dhawan roared back to form with a muscular half-century in company of a sublime KL Rahul as India posted a competitive 201 for 6 against Sri Lanka despite a middle-order collapse in the third T20 International on Friday.
Dhawan, who has been under pressure for some time smashed 52 off 36 balls (7x4; 1x6) in his 97-run opening stand with the in-form Rahul (54 off 36 balls, 5x4;1x6).
However, the hosts suffered a middle-order collapse with Sri Lankan wrist spinners Wanidu Hasaranga (1-27) and chinaman Lakshan Sandakan (3-35) spun their web around the batsmen on a flat track.
But Manish Pandey, playing his first game of the tournament, hit an unbeaten 31 off 18 balls and Shardul Thakur once again revelled as a lower-order pinch-hitter (22 not out off 8 balls; 1x4, 2x6) to ensure that the hosts crossed 200-run mark.
Rahul set the tone playing a cut shot off rival skipper Lasith Malinga for his first boundary. Dhawan got an early 'life', when Dasun Shanaka dropped one at deep square leg. Rahul, then hit two consecutive boundaries, both drives, off Angelo Mathews as India raced to 22/0.
The visitors introduced off-spinner Dhananjaya De Silva in the fourth over, but Dhawan welcomed him with a four over long-on. Rahul then dispatched a Silva full-toss over long leg for a maximum as India amassed 13 runs in it.
Dhawan changed his gears as he hammered two boundaries in fifth over as India reached team total of 50.
Making optimum use of the life, Dhawan smashed back-to-back fours, slashing one over backward point and another through extra cover off pacer Lahiru Kumara. The duo was coasting along well as India after 9 overs were 82/0.
After two quiet overs, Dhawan smashed Hasaranga over deep mid-wicket for a six.
Soon after completing his 10th T20I fifty, Dhawan perished after giving a sitter to Dhanushka Gunathilika off Sandakan at deep mid-wicket. However his innings certainly will make Virat Kohli's choice of Rohit Sharma's partner difficult for the upcoming Australia series.
Sanju Samson (6) got his much-awaited chance as he was promoted at No 3 and smashed a six on the first ball but was trapped in the front by Hasaranga as India slumped to 106/2.
Sandakan then pegged back the hosts by removing Rahul and Shreyas Iyer (4) in the 13th over as the hosts were in spot of bother at 122/4. While Rahul was stumped, Shreyas gave a return return catch to Sandakan.
However, then skipper Kohli (26 off 17 balls, 2x4; 1x6) and Pandey tried to rally the innings before Kohli and Washington Sundar (0) were dismissed in the 18th over. But Shardul's slogging got India past par-score mark.
Here are the playing 11s of both teams:
India playing 11: K L Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson (wk), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini
Sri Lanka playing 11: Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (wk), Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan, Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga (capt), Lahiru Kumara
K L Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli(c), Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson(w), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal
TOSS ALERT: India to bat first
Sri Lanka win toss and elect to bowl first
Head to head India vs Sri Lanka in T20s in India
Sri Lanka: 2
Sri Lanka defeated India, when the two teams take on each other in Pune
India T20Is record in Pune
Shreyas Iyer form since September 2019
Strike rate: 143
Shreyas Iyer. Photo: AP | PTI
Key stats ahead of India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20
India were bowled out for 101 in the last T20 held at Pune. Incidentally, their opponents then were Sri Lanka.
Angelo Mathews averages 78.00 in India with the bat in T20.
Since the start of this home season in September 2019, Virat Kohli averages 147 in T20Is.
Isuru Udana ruled out of third T20I against India, confirms Lanka head coach
Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur has confirmed that pacer Isuru Udana won't be playing the third T20I against India.
Udana had sustained a back injury during the warm-up session just before the Indian batting innings.
" I am not doctor, but I have seen him in the dressing room, he is in a lot of pain. What the diagnosis is, I don't really know. I can just hope we can get him for the West Indies series. I think even that could be a push, he's got something in the back, I really wish the best for him," Arthur told reporters after the conclusion of the second T20I.
When and where to watch India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 Live
Match Time: 7:00 PM (IST)
Toss Timing: 6:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Maharashtra Cricket Association, Pune
India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 match will be telecast live on Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD with English commentary. The same broadcast with Hindi commentary will be available on Star Sports 1 Hindi and Star Sports 1 Hindi HD. Fans could also watch the live streaming of India vs Sri Lanka match on Hotstar website and app.
Know how to build my innings now, says Rahul
India opener KL Rahul feels he has got "a lot better" at reading the game and building his innings, the secret to his consistent performance in the white ball formats.
Rahul is enjoying a good run in limited overs cricket having hit two hundreds and three half centuries in the ODIs and to top it up, three more fifty plus scores in T20s in 2019.
"I've just been getting runs and the reading of the game has gotten a lot better and knowing how to build my innings again," Rahul said after India's victory over Sri Lanka in the second T20 here.
"I felt that was lacking and I always knew I had the game to get the runs and it was just a matter of spending time in the middle. Really happy to carry on the same way," Rahul added. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
Need to bring changes in order to deceive batsmen, says Kuldeep Yadav
Admitting that 2019 was a "tough year" for him, Indian left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav on Thursday said he has learnt from his mistakes and will try to plan better for the challenges this year.
In 2019, the 25-year-old Kuldeep's India appearances were few and far apart and his stint with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League was also lacklustre.
"It (2019) was a tough one. I learned a lot of things and the biggest positive was getting to know that I could have planned things better," Kuldeep told reporters on the eve of the third and final T20 against Sri Lanka here.
"If I thought more and gave more time to myself, I could have performed better. In 2020, I will try to plan every game better and give myself more time, so I get more time to reflect on my game.
"You play a lot of matches but at the same time, you have to give yourself more time to plan for the next game. I want to be more mentally prepared this year," the Chinaman elaborated. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE
Jasprit Bumrah on verge of becoming India's leading wicket-taker in T20Is
Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah is one wicket away from becoming India's leading wicket-taker in T20 Internationals (T20) and he would achieve the feat, when India cricket team take on Sri Lanka cricket team in the third and final match on Friday. Currently, he is tied with R Ashwin and Yuzvendra Chahal with 52 wickets to his name.
Bumrah has taken 44 matches to claim 52 wickets while Chahal took only 36 matches. Ashwin on the other hand, has 52 wickets in 46 matches.
Returning from injury, all eyes were on Bumrah in the second T20I in Indore which India won comfortably by seven wickets. The first T20I was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain and damp patches on the pitch.
India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 Preview
To go with a winning combination or give much needed game time to Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey? That is the dilemma India cricket team are facing ahead of the third and final T20 International (T20) against Sri Lanka cricket team at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune on Friday.
An inexperienced Sri Lanka was no match for India in Indore and considering that, a case could be made for the inclusion of Pandey and Samson.
Pandey has played just one in the last three series, including the current one, while Samson is yet to get a game since he made a comeback with the Bangladesh series in November.
India have been experimenting ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in October-November but these two players are yet to be tested.
On the other hand, the absence of senior pacers has opened the doors for Shardul Thakur and Navdeep Saini to make an impression, which they did in the previous game by sharing five wickets among themselves.
Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube, who took the injured Hardik Pandya's place, have got significant opportunities to show what they are capable of. READ FULL ARTICLE HERE