With the ODI series also done and dusted, India will be going into the one-off T20 as strong favourites who are riding high on confidence. The Indians will look to complete the series on a high and will go in with a strong team by the looks of it.
Here is the probable XI for the T20 game:
Rohit will be the opener for the team as he is capable of hitting right from the beginning and he is in red hot form at the moment. He will be a huge threat and the Lankans will look to get rid of him as soon as possible.
In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli might open the innings for the Indians and he is also in superb form off late. Kohli has a very good record batting at the top of the order in Indian Premier League and he would like to make a good impact in T20Is, too.
Pandey bought himself some time in the team thanks to his innings in the final ODI. He is a great T20 player and his strike rate of 112+ bodes well. Pandey has a very good understanding of the game and he knows when to accelerate.
It will be hard to say whether Rahane or Rahul get this spot but Rahul might just have a final chance to prove himself in the limited overs format after playing badly in the ODIs. Rahul would be eager to get among runs and end the tour on a happy note.
Dhoni will continue to be the anchor between the top and bottom order and he still has the ability to finish off matches. He was one of India’s best batsman in the ODI series. He batted with a lot of responsibility and bailed out India from tough positions.
Another one who can bring an impact to the team under the right circumstances, Jadhav will be involved after finding form in the last ODI. Jadhav will look to score some quick runs and end to the tour on a high.
The all-rounder in the team, Pandya will be looking to explode at any moment as a batsman and could find himself promoted up the order too. Pandya is one of India’s best T20 cricketers.
Kuldeep Yadav might find his place ahead of Axar Patel and could be the X-factor as his deliveries are very hard to pick. He could make vital breakthroughs also. His mystery spin is always a very attacking option in form of the game.
The spinner has found himself in the Indian team after performing consistently for domestically. He will want to end the series on a high and will mostly keep his place.
The pacer has been in excellent form over the past few years and had a splendid Sri Lanka tour too. He will want to end that on a high before heading home. Bhuvi is a very good T20 bowler. He adjusts his line and length brilliantly according to the stage of the innings.
On a high after having won the player of the series award against the Sri Lakan tour, Bumrah will try to put the Lankan batsmen off with his searing Yorkers and deadly swingers.
By Rohit Nair