India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Preview: India to try new faces in a dead rubber

While Sri Lanka will be a fielding a full-strength XI to try and save the embarrassment of a white-wash, India may want to try a few uncapped youngsters.

Rohit Sharma & Kuldeep Yadav
Rohit Sharma celebrates a wicket with Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

While Sri Lanka will be looking to prevent their second successive whitewash in T20 internationals, India will want to pile the misery on the visitors and finish the home season on a high when the two teams take the field for the last game of the T20I series at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

The conditions at Wankhede will be nothing different to the Holkar Stadium, Indore. It will be another flat pitch with true bounce and small outfield; a high scoring game is on the horizon. Wankhede generally provides a little bit of turn to the spinners as the game goes on, but since it will be a night game and there will be plenty of dew in the second innings, there won’t be much for the spinners.


While Sri Lanka will be a fielding a full-strength XI to try and save the embarrassment of a white-wash, India may want to try a few uncapped youngsters who have been included in the squad on the basis of their IPL and domestic performances.

Toss: India won the toss and elected to field

Thisara Perera: Toss doesn’t matter, have to stick to our plans. Already told my teammates to give 100% and keep their confidence up. Hope the boys can do something special tonight. Kusal and Tharanga are really big hitters. We have good options with these two. Two changes. Gunathilaka and Shanaka in for de Silva and Mathews.

Rohit Sharma: We are looking to field. Don’t think it will change a lot. Just wanted to change it a bit, we’ve been batting first. This time of year, any ground in India, there will be dew factor. We just have to play the game we’ve been playing. We’ve played enough cricket to understand what to do when conditions change. Things have been wonderful, god has been kind. Making the team win is the most important thing for me. Not just one individual, as a team we have played good cricket. Been a great home season for us. Want to come out here and have good fun. Will be a great crowd, Mumbai is known for that. Want to come out and put a smile on their faces. Two changes. Washington Sundar will make his debut and Siraj comes in. Chahal and Bumrah miss out.

Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Niroshan Dickwella(w), Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Asela Gunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera(c), Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep

India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni(w), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj

Focus will be on-

Rohit Sharma (India): Despite not being the most powerful batsman in the world by his own admission, the ease with which Rohit Sharma hit sixes is astonishing. To possess the range of shots that he does and to have the gift of timing that he has, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to call him the batting manual of T20 cricket. The limelight will once again be on the Indian captain as he will lead the Men in Blue for the first time on his home ground in front of his people who will be expecting a big one from him tomorrow.

Kusal Janith Perera (Sri Lanka): The left-hander looked completely clueless facing India’s wrist spinners on a slightly sluggish surface in Cuttack, but in Indore where the pitch was equivalent to a road and everything came gun-barrel straight off the track, he put his power game on display and at one stage, had sent shivers down the spines of the Indian fans. He was hitting a couple of sixes every over and it seemed he might even pull off the unthinkable for Sri Lanka which, however, wasn’t to be as he was dismissed for 70 odd runs leading to a massive collapse and a humiliating loss. The 27-year old will like to make a match-defining impact at the Wankhede where the conditions will be ideal for him.

Playing combination:

Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka will have to make a forced change as Angelo Mathews rediscovered his hamstring injury while bowling in the last game and has now been ruled out of the series. Dasun Shanaka, in all probability, will come into the XI as he is a like-for-like replacement for the veteran all-rounder. Shanaka is probably not efficient enough with the bat to be slotted at no. 4, but down the order at 7, he is a biting player and also provides a seam bowling option to the captain.


For India, Basil Thampi can make his debut and Washington Sundar be given another opportunity. These two youngsters who caught everyone’s eyes in the last season of the IPL should replace Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal, two of India’s premier bowlers who have played non-stop white ball cricket this year and some rest ahead of the South Africa tour will do them just good.

Deepak Hooda is another uncapped player in the squad, but he may not be able to get a go as the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey who are slotted in the middle order at the moment are trying to prove a point themselves and resting them won’t make any sense.


0 – The Indian team has played two T20Is at this venue and lost both.

100 – This is the 100th T20 match hosted at the Wankhede Stadium, the first venue in India to get a hundred.