IND vs SL T20I Series 2023: India's predicted XI against Sri Lanka for 3rd T20I

The three-match T20I series is currently poised at 1-1.

Axar Patel and Shivam Mavi
Axar Patel and Shivam Mavi. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Koustav Sengupta

Jr. Staff Writer

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After a crunching defeat in the second T20I of the ongoing three-match series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, team India would look forward to clinching the series against Sri Lanka when they face the Dasun Shanaka-led side at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on January 7.

However, it’s going to be a difficult task as the Indian bowlers have failed to live up to the expectations so far in the series. Youngster Shivam Mavi wreaked havoc in the opening game but failed miserably in the second. Arshdeep Singh had a forgettable return as he struggled for rhythm and conceded 37 runs in his two overs while Hardik Pandya once again didn’t finish his quota of four overs.

When it comes to the batters, the top order completely perished in the second match. Debutant Rahul Tripathi failed to impress while the Player of the Match in the first match, Deepak Hooda scored nine runs off 12 deliveries. Suryakumar Yadav (51) and Axar Patel (65) played some magnificent cricket but that wasn’t enough for the Men in Blue to bag the win.

So, after a poor performance, will the Hardik Pandya-led side make any changes to their playing XI or back the same side in the final fixture? Let’s dissect -

India's Predicted playing XI for the third T20I against Sri Lanka:

Openers – Ishan Kishan (WK), Ruturaj Gaikwad

Ishan Kishan was impressive in the first match of the series but failed to fire in the second as the southpaw could score only two runs off five deliveries in Pune. Despite that, he remains a threat and can give India an excellent start for the middle-order batters to capitalise. In 23 T20I matches that he has played so far, the opener has scored 628 runs at a strike rate of 128.16.

Now even though Ishan is likely to retain his position in the playing XI, his partner Shubamn Gill might get left out. He failed to perform in both matches and thus might lose his spot to Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been doing exceedingly well in domestic cricket. Overall, the 25-year-old has played 90 T20 matches and has scored 2836 runs at a strike rate of 133.96.

Middle Order - Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda

Even though Rahul Tripathi failed to impress on his debut, he is likely to retain his position in the third T20I as well. He is an explosive batter who can change the course of the game at any time. Tripathi has proved himself multiple times in domestic cricket and also in the Indian Premier League and thus, the team management is likely to give him an extended run in the team.

The number one ranked T20I batter in the world, Suryakumar Yadav once again rose to the occasion and played some phenomenal shots in the second T20I. However, his fightback couldn’t inspire the team to get a win but he nevertheless, will once again play a similar brand of cricket to put the Lankan bowlers under pressure.

Deepak Hooda is an essential part of the squad and proved his value in the first game. Now, even though he failed to perform in the second match, the 27-year-old remains to be a threat and someone who can give a much-needed push to India’s innings towards the fag end. In 174 T20 matches that he has played in his career, the cricketer has scored 3034 runs at a strike rate of 139.94.

All-rounders - Hardik Pandya (c), Axar Patel

Skipper Hardik Pandya is doing well with the new ball but his bat is yet to make some noise. His undefeated record as captain of the Indian team was shattered in the previous match but the 29-year-old can still keep his undefeated series streak intact with a win in the third T20I. However, for that, Pandya needs to regain his batting form and lead by example.

Axar Patel was at his absolute best in the previous match. With the bat, the southpaw scored 65 runs off 31 deliveries and almost won the game for India but in the end, lost his wicket to Dasun Shanaka. However, his fighting spirit was heavily appreciated and can once again play a massive role in the third T20I. With the ball, he picked up two wickets while giving away just 24 runs in his four overs.

Bowlers: Shivam Mavi, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umran Malik

Even though Shivam Mavi failed to impress with the ball in the second match, his bat did the talking. Along with Axar in the end, the 24-year-old scored 26 off 15 deliveries and brought India close to victory. However, the cricketer needs to focus on his bowling at the moment as he conceded over 50 runs in his four overs.

Meanwhile, Arshdeep Singh on his return was very poor, to say the least. He bowled multiple no-balls and that helped Sri Lanka put a massive target on board. He definitely needs to improve and get back to form for India to get the win in the upcoming clash.

On the other hand, Yuzvendra Chahal looked decent in the second match as he picked up one wicket while Umran Malik was indeed expensive but picked up three crucial wickets. Overall, the bowling department looked very average and the Lankan batters will once again look forward to putting them under pressure.

India's probable playing XI - Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya (c), Axar Patel, Shivam Mavi, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umran Malik

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