India vs Sri Lanka 2020: 3rd T20I, Pune – Sri Lanka’s Predicted XI; As the two sides move on to Pune for the climax of the series, they will have different objectives in their minds. While India, who already have one hand on the trophy, will look to extend their winning run in 2020. Sri Lanka, on the other hand, would seek to break the shackles and recover from their seven-wicket drubbing in Indore.
Following a thrashing in the second T20 international on Tuesday, the tourists have plenty of headaches. As their coach, Mickey Arthur pointed out, Sri Lanka need to adopt consistent performances and convert their starts to something substantial. Ahead of the final T20 international, left-arm seamer Isuru Udana has also been ruled out due to a back injury. Hence, they will be forced to carry out changes to level the series.
We look at the predicted XI for Sri Lanka for the third T20 international:
Danushka Gunathilaka played some delightful strokes in his 21-ball 20 in the second game. He negotiated the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, and Washington Sundar ideally to collect one boundary each off their bowling. Navdeep Saini, in his second over, castled him with an unplayable full delivery that uprooted his stumps. He is expected to retain his place but has to capitalise on the start he made in the previous game.
Avishka Fernando’s innings of 22 off 16 balls painted a similar picture to that of Gunathilaka, having crunched five boundaries before hitting the ball to mid-off. He was in an attacking spree, but couldn’t be level-headed enough to propel his side to a challenging score. Along with his opening partner, Fernando has a responsibility to build on a promising start.
Sri Lanka’s gloveman Kusal Perera was the top-scorer for his team in the last game, compiling a well-made 34 which included three sixes. Kuldeep Yadav claimed his wicket at a crucial juncture and that supposedly became the turning point of the encounter. Perera will retain his spot in the side, but this was another classic case of a batsman getting off to a start only to throw it away.
Oshada Fernando gave a hand to a 28-run stand along with Kusal Perera. He shimmied down the deck in front of Kuldeep Yadav and lost his stumps to Rishabh Pant who whipped it. He did look promising for the most part and should retain his place for the third match.
The veteran Sri Lankan all-rounder may make a comeback in the national team after playing his last game in the format back in 2018. Given the collapse, the visitors suffered in Indore, the 32-year old can anchor the batting and bowl some overs, if required. The Colombo-born all-rounder may replace Bhanuka Rajapaksa. He averages 78 against India in India in T20Is.
Dasun Shanaka was a victim of Jasprit Bumrah, as he got his stumps clattered for 7 while trying to heave it over cover. He played his part during Sri Lanka’s bowling, bowling four tidy overs for 26 runs in the absence of Isuru Udana. He should retain his place in the team as a competent finisher in the line-up.
Dhananjaya de Silva:
One of the all-rounders in the line-up, Dhananjaya de Silva played his part while batting at number seven. He was one of the victims of Shardul Thakur in the 19th over, having lost his wicket for 17 off 13 balls trying to bunt it through the infield. De Silva should retain his place, considering his useful contribution. He can be promoted up the order and could play a strong hand.
Wanindu Hasaranga was the pick of the bowlers in the previous game, having picked up two wickets for 30 runs in four overs. The leggie bagged the prized scalps of KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan to give his side a small chance at winning. Unfortunately, the other bowlers couldn’t make further inroads. He is most likely to keep his place in the team.
The right-arm speedster will most likely walk in for the injured seamer Isuru Udana. Kasun Rajitha endured a forgettable outing against Australia in his last T20 international, going for 75 runs in four overs at the Adelaide Oval. However, his performance against India is best out of all the opponents. In two games, he has three wickets at 24.67.
Not often it happens that Lasith Malinga goes wicketless in any game. But in Indore, it did happen and was the crucial factor in Sri Lanka’s loss. In recent times, Malinga’s strikes in the initial overs has set the tone for Sri Lanka’s victory in low-scoring games. However, in their defeat to the men in blue, the 36-year old conceded 41 runs in four overs with no wickets. He will have to pull up his socks and lead from the front to level the series.
Lahiru Kumara picked up the wicket of Shreyas Iyer which came when India were only six runs adrift of the target. He was one of the only two bowlers to snap a wicket in India’s convincing victory. Along with Kasun Rajitha and Lasith Malinga, Kumara has to find a way past the Indian top-order with the new ball to put pressure on the side.