The Men in Blue will take part in a triangular T20 tournament involving host Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
India and Sri Lanka will lock horns against each other in the tournament opener on March 6. Meanwhile, Nidahas Trophy marks the 70-years of Sri Lankan independence.
India will be high on confidence after a successful tour of the Rainbow Nation. Further, India came back strongly from a 2-1 loss in the Tests to script history in the limited-overs series. Also, India demolished the host 5-1 to become the first Indian team to win a series in South Africa.
However, India kept its nerves to win the series decider in the final over. India banked on Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan followed by some tight bowling to script history.
Especially, the wrist-spinning duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were the main finding for India in this series.
However, the upcoming Nidahas Trophy looks like a cake walk for a relatively younger Indian side. BCCI had decided to rest senior players going into this series with Rohit Sharma leading the team in the absence of Virat Kohli.
Further, MS Dhoni had also decided to opt out of the series giving an opportunity to the younger cricketers.
However, currently, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are going through a transition period which puts India as a clear favourite.
Further, let’s take a look at the Indian squad:
India is likely the hot favourites in the upcoming tri-series with a balanced side. While having younger players in the team, India also has cricketers who can win matches on their shoulders.
Further, Shikhar Dhawan’s form will be crucial for India’s success in the upcoming tournament. Dhawan was India’s second highest run-scorer in the South Africa series after Kohli. Also, vintage Dhoni was on offer during the last part of the series which is a positive for India.
Meanwhile, India has improved tremendously as a bowling unit. Especially, the wrist-spinning duo rattled South Africa’s batting order picking 33 wickets together. Although Kuldeep was rested for Nidahas Trophy, Chahal single-handedly can prove to be a threat to the opposition.
Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma’s form will be a concern for the Indian team with Kohli rested for this tour. Further, Sharma had a poor tour to South Africa except a single hundred. Also, Kohli’s absence in this tour can prove to be decisive for the Indian team.
Meanwhile, India’s middle-order is a reason to worry for India. The team management tried and tasted many options, but nobody showed enough consistency.
Further, Indian spinners leaked runs in the T20 series which will be a point of concern for a relatively younger Indian side. Also, India will miss the service of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who had led the pace bowling attack over the last few years.
India is likely the hot favorites in the triangular tournament. With past performances in mind, India has done impeccably well against the neighboring nations. Further, both Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are going through a transition period with the World Cup looming ahead.
So far, India has played five T20I against Bangladesh having won all the five. The latest was in March 2016 with India winning the match by one run in Bengaluru.
While in the 14 matches, India had played against Sri Lanka, the side won ten of those including the last eight fixtures.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka had won three consecutive series so far in 2018 going into the series which can be a threat for the Indian side.
Other than this, it looks like an easy win for Team India before the commencement of the Indian Premier League.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur.
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