Rehersal for T20 World Cup begins as India and Sri Lanka lock horns
They have been clearly outplayed in the 50-over format but with more utility players up their ranks, the home side will definitely fancy their chance in the shortest format.
Only T20I, India v Sri Lanka at Pallekele
August 7, 2012, 19:00 local time (13:30 GMT)
India – After a fantastic performance in ODI series, Team India will be looking to make their mark in the only T20 game against Sri Lanka. This will be their last game before the squad for the T20 World Cup is announced. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir will once again remain key to India’s fortunes and the absence of Virender Sehwag will give young Rahane another shot at the International Level to grab the attention. The format might help someone like Rohit Sharma who is having a dismal performance to play with more freedom and get some confidence heading into the New Zealand Test series and the T20 World Cup. Bowling looks thin in the absence of Zaheer Khan who has headed back to NCA but Irfan’s form has been heartening for the visitors.
Sri Lanka – They have been clearly outplayed in the 50-over format but with more utility players up their ranks, the home side will definitely fancy their chance in the shortest format. Sri Lankans have the luxury of SLPL beginning August 11 which will give the selectors the idea of picking the right squad for the much awaited T20 World Cup. Lasith Malinga will spearhead the bowling attack but the hosts will miss the services of Nuwan Kulasekra and the former captain Kumar Sangakkara.
Players to watch out for
Lasith Malinga – Easily the most dangerous bowler in this format. Even though Indians played him well recently, the slinger will hold the edge given the fact that the batsmen are in search of runs. The home side will be hoping for breakthroughs from their ace bowler.
MS Dhoni – He has been leading from the front in the ODI series. The pace at which he scores runs makes him the game changer and his ability to remain calm under pressure makes him a dangerous customer in this format.
India – 1. Gautam Gambhir 2. Ajinkya Rahane 3. Virat Kohli 4. Manoj Tiwary 5. Rohit Sharma 6. Suresh Raina 7. MS Dhoni (wk) (c) 8. Irfan Pathan 9. R Ashwin 10. Umesh Yadav 11. Ashoke Dinda
Sri Lanka – 1. Mahela Jayawardene (c) 2. Tilekaratne Dilshan 3. Lahiru Thirimanne 4. Dinesh Chandimal (wk) 5. Angelo Mathews 6. Chamara Kapugedara 7. Jeevan Mendis 8. Thisara Perera 9. Sachitra Senanayake 10. Nuwan Pradeep 11. Lasith Malinga
"We are teaching players how to handle situations. Sometimes they will make mistakes but as long as they learn from that it's important. When the opportunity comes we would like them to take control of the team and take us forward.” Mahela Jayawardene, Sri Lanka
"My focus was on how I can improve my game during practice sessions and be ready since I knew that someday I will get a chance to play. The effort was to maintain a good mindset. It is not always easy [to do that]." Manoj Tiwary, India