India seemed too hot to handle for the Lankan side in the first two T20Is and seemed clueless what to do and what plan to follow. Such has been the ruthlessness of the hosts that a second string team that is supposed to take on the Lankans today, has a sense of inevitability written all over it.
KL Rahul: Although the Karnataka opener wouldn’t have been happy by the way he was ousted from the team for the South Africa series, the third and final T20 in Mumbai comes as another chance to showcase a statement of intent and a validation of his high quality as an opening batsman. He is sure to get a go and will try to come good once again.
Rohit Sharma: Rohit Sharma has been hot and cold in this series so far. After gifting away his wicket in the first match in Cuttack, he single-handedly dented the visitors’ confidence with a fresh century in Indore to become the first Indian to score two centuries in T20Is. Nothing more we can add
Shreyas Iyer: The Mumbaikar is capable of marrying classical shots with brute force and his attacking instincts were in full flow in the second and third ODIs, but he didn’t get sufficient time in the last two T20Is. However, after getting selected in the ODI team for the upcoming South Africa series, he will get a chance to prove that his ODI exploits were no fluke and he is destined for bigger things.
Manish Pandey: In the second T20I, Pandey got a chance to bat in the final over and managed to score a solitary run off one ball. However, in the Cuttack ODI, he was excellent with the bat and after the Sri Lankan skipper put India in a shell after the power play overs through his assortment of bowlers, the 28-year-old helped India get out of the difficult position through his orthodox stroke play. He will try to replicate the same to give more substance to the Indian top order.
MS Dhoni: The former India skipper was promoted two times in the series and while he was successful with the bat in the first match, he failed to do the same magic in the second match. However, Dhoni’s contribution to the team is beyond stats and he has the ability to inspire the entire team through his words behind the stumps.
Deepak Hooda: The Sunrisers Hyderabad player has a chance to replace Dinesh Karthik in the team as the series has already been done and dusted. The big-hitting all-rounder has the amazing ability to clear the fence at will and that fetched him 4.2 crores in the 2016 IPL auction. The Baroda Ranji player was one of the premier names in the India Under-19 squad during 2014 World Cup and will try to bring his best to the fore in his first foray as a senior international cricketer.
Hardik Pandya: Pandya was the most economical of all bowlers and gave away only 6.90 runs per over in Indore. But he needs to pull up his socks as far as his batting is concerned as the average of 10.71 doesn’t do justice to a player who has made a name for himself through big hits in the shortest format of the game.
Washington Sundar: The Tamil Nadu teenager had a decent ODI debut in Mohali where he claimed his maiden ODI wicket on just the ninth ball. With the conditions making the ball wet, he found it difficult to grip the ball well. Although the dew is likely to come with full force in Mumbai today, the Indian team management might want to hand him a T20I debut cap resting Kuldeep Yadav.
Jaydev Unadkat: The Saurashtra pacer would not have been disappointed about his performance in the last match, given he conceded runs at seven runs per over and picked up the wicket of Niroshan Dickwella. However, should India rest Jasprit Bumrah, he might have to play the role of senior bowler in the team.
Yuzvendra Chahal: The Haryana leggie was impressive with the ball in Indore as he along with his partner Kuldeep Yadav, shared seven wickets between them to bowl Sri Lanka out inside 18 overs to hand India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. While he is the highest wicket-taker in the series, he needs to defy the odds that the dew will offer and be parsimonious as well.
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. Although it is a flip of the coin between him and Mohammed Siraj as who will replace should India decide to give Pandya rest, the latter had a disastrous international debut against New Zealand and that might lead to the former's debut.
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