India vs Sri Lanka | Predicted XI for first T20I in Cuttack

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India vs Sri Lanka | Predicted XI for first T20I in Cuttack

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SportsCafe Desk


After sealing the Test and the ODI series, Team India will now look to win the shortest format of the game as well, but they can’t be overconfident due to Sri Lanka's mercurial nature. In the absence of Virat Kohli, this will be the first T20 game for Rohit Sharma as the skipper of the Indian team.


Rohit Sharma – Rohit, who is also playing the role of skipper for the first time in a T20I match, will open the innings for the hosts. The Mumbai batsman played a spectacular knock of 208 runs in Mohali after scoring only two runs in the first ODI match against the Lankans. If the Lankan Tigers fail to contain him from the beginning, he will score a big knock for sure.

KL Rahul – In the absence of regular opener, Shikhar Dhawan, this T20 series offers a great chance for the Karnataka opener to ensure a spot in the Playing XI. His inconsistent limited-overs form has not helped his cause lately and he needs to perform better in this series to keep himself in the fray for the upcoming South Africa series.


Shreyas Iyer The 23-year-old, who made his debut in the T20I against New Zealand in Delhi, will be featured in the playing XI for sure. In the recently-concluded ODI series, he managed two sublime knocks of 88 and 65 runs in the last two matches. He will also want to forget his bad T20I debut memories by playing a good innings for the team today.

Dinesh Karthik – Karthik is most likely to don the No.4 cap for the Indian team. The Tamil Nadu batsman, who registered his highest ODI score almost a decade ago in Cuttack, played an unbeaten 26-run knock in the last ODI game of the series. He will be the senior player on India can rely on, in the absence of the big stars and will hope him to anchor the innings as well. 

Manish Pandey – Pandey has played 12 T20Is and 22 ODIs for the Indian cricket team in which he scored 174 and 432 runs respectively. While his inconsistency is a matter of question, he will try to score some important runs for the team against a struggling Lankan side.

Hardik Pandya – The all-rounder is one of the most reliable players in the squad and has the capability to play power shots and can also grab wickets at the time of need. The 24-year-old has donned the Indian cap in 24 T20Is and scored 140 runs and claimed 17 wickets. The player is going to be the trump card for India, but a paltry batting average of 10.77 doesn't paint a good picture of his talent. For India to well, the Baroda boy will have to pull up his socks.

MS Dhoni (WK) – The former Indian skipper played a majestic 139-run knock against England in January 2017 at the Barabati Stadium and will definitely want to play another good innings at the same venue. In the first ODI, he was the lone survivor scoring 65 runs and will look forward to contributing something more in the T20I as well.


Kuldeep Yadav – The Chinaman bowler has been a part of the national team in five T20Is and claimed six wickets for them. In the third ODI in Vizag, the 23-year-old sent three Sri Lankan batsmen back to the pavilion while conceding 42 runs. In the shortest format of the game, he is even more dangerous thanks to his variations and the Sri Lankan side should beware of that.

Yuzvendra Chahal – He performed really well in the limited-overs series and despite finishing wicket-less in the first ODI, he picked up three wickets each in the last two games. The Royal Challengers Bangalore bowler was superb when it comes to 20-over format and can be a precise miser.

Jasprit Bumrah – In the absence of his partner Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, the Gujarat bowler will have to lead the Indian bowling attack. Bumrah is known to bowling toe-crushing yorkers and ability to bowl under difficult situations and India needs him to do well in the series opener.

Basil Thampi – The uncapped pacer has impressed many experts in the IPL by bowling brilliant yorkers in the death overs. He was one of the very few positives for Gujarat Lions' disappointing IPL campaign and that has led to his national selection. He had the experience of playing many Ranji Trophy matches at the Barabati stadium and earlier this year he spearheaded Kerala to a memorable victory over Tripura at the same venue. Although it is a flip of coin between him and Mohammed Siraj, the latter had a disastrous international debut against New Zealand and that might lead to the former's debut.

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