India vs Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I: Sri Lanka Predicted XI
Sri Lanka would love to end the year on a winning note and that is the only inspiration that can win them a game now.
Updated - Dec 23, 2017 6:19 pm
Both India and Sri Lanka will play their last game of 2017 at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai and look to end the proceedings on a high. The series has already been decided with the hosts proving too hot to handle for the visitors whose batsmen looked in some form in the second T20I. Though they are seriously lacking self-belief to defeat the well-equipped Indian team on this tour. However, they would be eyeing to avoid a whitewash and leave the country with all smiles by gaining confidence.
The bowlers were out of ideas as Rohit Sharma launched an assault on them in the last game on the small ground in Indore. Though they could have done something different which they have been afraid to all series. The skipper Thisara Perera too is unable to inspire his boys with his performances as he is not a specialist in either of the departments. Still, they would love to end the torrid year on a winning note carrying the same momentum to next year. They have nothing to lose now and might come all guns blazing.
India, on the other hand, will look to make wholesale changes with as many as three to four debutants in the squad. They all are expected to play after sitting on the sidelines watching their team win the series. Deepak Hooda, Basil Thampi and Washington Sundar might walk into the team as the series has been conquered. Though they will guard against any complacency and look to whitewash their neighbours before embarking on a tough tour to South Africa.
Here we look at the predicted XI of Sri Lanka for the third and final T20I of the series:
Openers (Niroshan Dickwella, Upul Tharanga)
The opening duo of Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga looked settled in the last game and also provided a decent start to the side. The former especially has been promising but has failed to deliver on this tour so far. He would be itching to get on to the field for one final time and blaze his way through to a big score. His skills behind the wickets are excellent and also plucked a magnificent catch amidst all the drama with Rohit Sharma’s record-breaking ton.
Upul Tharanga looks in sublime touch but he too has failed to score big apart from his 95 in the series decider during the ODIs. He is the senior pro in the side and has to make a strong statement with the bat to infuse the much-needed confidence in the youngsters to follow. He threatened for a while in the near-impossible chase of 260 on Friday and would love to play a similar kind of innings to cap off an excellent 2017 for him personally. He is amongst the leading run-getters in ODIs and a good outing on Sunday would surely bolster his confidence.
Middle Order (Kusal Perera, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Asela Gunaratne)
The in-form Kusal Perera is a huge boost for Sri Lanka in the otherwise struggling batting line-up. He shrugged off all the rustiness in his batting and clobbered all the bowlers in Indore. The 27-year-old looked absolutely determined to gun down the target and the visitors need such players who believe to achieve anything. If he manages to play with freedom once again at the Wankhede Stadium, Indian bowlers might travel the distance once again. If the context of the match is taken out, his innings of 77 off just 34 deliveries is so satisfying for a Sri Lankan fans and they will be banking on him to come good for one final time in 2017.
Sadeera Samarawickrama, the youngster who boasts a huge talent, has not been able to deliver on the field during crunch times. He looks a bit lost in the middle order in this format but Sri Lanka currently doesn’t have a spot left for him in the top order. Asela Gunaratne is yet to find his rhythm after coming back from injury. He used to win games single-handedly for his team with the bat and is not yet settled on his comeback. A couple of good shots from the middle of the bat might give boost his confidence and then we might witness the old Asela once again.
All-Rounders (Thisara Perera (c), Dasun Shanaka, Chaturanga de Silva)
The hamstring injury to Angelo Mathews has put Sri Lanka in further trouble as he will miss the last game of the tour. Thisara Perera, the skipper, somehow needs to step up now and deliver with the bat as well. He has been the best bowler for his team so far as he has tried all his variations and has been successful in taking wickets. But his form with the bat has been erroneous. Runs need to flow from his bat and might bat up the order just to give himself some time in the middle.
Dasun Shanaka would be a like-for-like replacement for Mathews as Sri Lanka doesn’t have anyone apart from him currently in the squad. He was dropped from the team for the must-win encounter but has a chance to prove his mettle once again. Chaturanga de Silva should keep his place intact in the side and should be given one more opportunity. He was taken to the cleaners by Rohit and KL Rahul in the last match and was out trying a reverse sweep while batting. A decent knock in the middle should make him a matured cricketer going forward.
Bowlers (Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep)
The bowling attack of Sri Lanka has lacked penetration throughout the tour apart from Suranga Lakmal who is not part of the T20I squad. Akila Dananjaya is the only bowler who has been spared to some extent by the Indian batsmen. His variations are excellent and some of the batsmen are struggling to pick him. If the pitch in Mumbai offers some help to the young lad, he can come out with magical figures on the night.
Dushmantha Chameera has pace but he struggles with his line and length. The youngster gets flustered way too easily after being hit for a boundary. The team management has to make sure that he doesn’t lose his talent and keep him up in spirits. Nuwan Pradeep is the leader of this attack as far as the number of matches played are concerned. He has to take the new ball and make inroads by making the ball talk. So far he is coming in the middle overs when the batsmen are settled and are looking to go bang bang. It would be interesting if he will bowl upfront in the third and final T20I when Sri Lanka will play for pride.