India v Sri Lanka, 3rd T20I, Visakhapatnam February 13, 2016

Momentum with India in series decider


Match facts

Sunday, February 14, 2016
Start time 1930 local (1400 GMT)

Dushmantha Chameera's tight bowling performance was one of the few bright spots in Sri Lanka's loss in Ranchi © BCCI

Big Picture

Sri Lanka, with their raw-but-aggressive seam attack, prospered on a greentop, but on the dry Ranchi surface, the visitors were never in the game. Seam and pace appear to be Sri Lanka's surest route to rattling the hosts again, but it's unlikely they will encounter a helpful pitch in Visakhapatnam. If another dry track is prepared, Sri Lanka are in danger of being blown away by India's top order cannons, and picked off by India's spin.

More worrying than a potential series loss for the visitors, will be their problems at the top of the order. Sri Lanka are days away from naming their World T20 squad, but are yet to locate a replacement for Kusal Perera. Danushka Gunathilaka has not quite made the best of his chances. Niroshan Dickwella has played only one T20 international, and was dismissed cheaply in it.

With Shikhar Dhawan striking his first T20 half-century on Friday, India's T20 puzzle is falling into place. Hardik Pandya's pinch-hitting promotion also went off well, while Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane all seemed in good touch. Yuvraj Singh appears to be the only doubt at present, but he has also had limited opportunities with the bat.

On the bowling front, R Ashwin seems to be spinning himself into ominous home form, as Ashish Nehra continues to settle into his new-ball role. MS Dhoni has options with this XI. He tried seven different bowlers on Friday, allowing him to reserve more overs from the frontline bowlers for the back end of the innings.

Form guide

India: WLWWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)

Sri Lanka: LWLLL

In the spotlight

Dhoni had so many overs from his part-time bowlers on Friday, that he was able to use Jasprit Bumrah as a death-overs yorker specialist. It was a job Bumrah performed admirably. He gave away 13 runs in his first over - the 16th of the innings - but varied his deliveries better in the second over, to claim two wickets and concede only one run. As sharp in the field as he is at the bowling crease, Bumrah is among those adding dynamism and versatility to the India XI.

Quick and hostile in Pune, versatile in Ranchi, Dushmantha Chameera is beginning to blossom at the top level. There are areas to improve on. Maybe he could use the seam a little better than he is at the moment, and the yorkers aren't exactly consistent either, but those are minor contentions. Chameera will probably play through the entire T20 season coming up, because Sri Lanka have few other choices, but they should also be wary of overusing him. There are big mid-year Tests on the horizon. They need Chameera fit for those.

Teams news

With almost everyone having contributed in some way to the victory, India will be tempted to keep the same XI.

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Ajinkya Rahane, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 MS Dhoni (capt.)(wk), 6 Yuvraj Singh, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Ravindra Jadeja, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Ashish Nehra

With Gunathilaka unable to show his T20 wares so far, Niroshan Dickwella may be given another chance at the top of the order. Team management will also think about giving Jeffrey Vandersay a match ahead of Seekkuge Prasanna.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Niroshan Dickwella, 2 Tillakaratne Dilshan, 3 Dinesh Chandimal (capt.)(wk), 4 Chamara Kapugedera, 5 Dasun Shanaka 6 Milinda Siriwardana, 7 Thisara Perera, 8 Sachithra Senanayake, 9 Dushmantha Chameera, 10 Jeffrey Vandersay, 11 Kasun Rajitha

Pitch and conditions

Going by the scores in the four one-dayers that have been played in Visakhapatnam, the pitch makes for moderately high-scoring games. The weather is expected to remain good for the game's duration, with temperatures dropping to the low 20 degrees Celsius range.

Stats and trivia

  • Having begun the series needing 17 runs to get to 1000 for his T20 international career, Yuvraj Singh still requires seven to reach the milestone. He would be the fourth India batsman to the mark.
  • India have won four of the five completed games at Vishakhapatnam - all ODIs.
  • Thisara Perera's hat-trick - off his three final deliveries of the innings in Ranchi - gave him his best T20 figures of 3 for 33.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. @andrewffernando

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Mallesha on February 14, 2016, 14:23 GMT

    SL New comers are lost on International stage. Loving it :) bad decision by umpire. Expected good Mach today, seems like it will be thrashing to SL today ... No complaints though!

  • Mallesha on February 14, 2016, 14:13 GMT

    Chandi & Co are in hurry to lose & catch flight back home soon tonight. Give some fight SL .. Lol :)

  • Pradipto Ayon on February 14, 2016, 14:13 GMT

    What happened with all that predictions lankans

  • Cricinfouser on February 14, 2016, 13:53 GMT

    Chandimal made a blunder by batting first in the second match,Come on man have some common sense. Chandimal in my books not captain material.

  • Sheikh on February 14, 2016, 13:47 GMT

    will be high scoring match

  •   Dimuth Tharaka Menikgama on February 14, 2016, 13:34 GMT

    Though Gunathilaka has not shown any colors so far in T20, he is a skilled batsman with the "Sanath Jayasuriya" kind of skills. My opinion is that selector should give him more chances because Dickwella also has not shown any colors so far. So putting him instead of Gunathilaka will definitely be a mistake. Anyway Sri Lanka is having a huge chance of winning today's game.

  • Mallesha on February 14, 2016, 13:16 GMT

    SL newcomers got taste of thrashing in last match. Today will be icing on cake .. To give them nightmares which Sanga & Mahela etc got whenever they toured India. 5-0 & varoius other defeats in Ind for them:)

  • Thilina on February 14, 2016, 12:50 GMT

    Top 3 is the weak link in the Sri Lankan team..Dhanushka has been struggling to find the feat after his knock in NZ..Chandimal too,..Danushka should be replaced by dickwella and he can open with Dilshan..Chandimal must go down the order allowing to bat Kapu @03 while Siri@4, Dasun@5,

  • Jayaesh on February 14, 2016, 12:44 GMT

    @ANJI100 :You are indulging in selective cherrypicking ,lazy stereotyping and easy generalisations.Yes some Indian fans have crossed the line on some occasions but to highlight that as how Indian fans generally behave is blowing things out of proportion.Does the SL media and fans not go after Malinga labeling him as unpatriotic and only caring about Mumbai Indians, even legends like Sanga and Mahela were not spared who were accused of chasing T20 leagues.Yes i concede Indian fans are more passionate then SL that's why cricket is so big in India, big money,big TV deals, packed houses while i always see empty stands in SL and not much TV money or viewership.

  • Kalhara on February 14, 2016, 12:39 GMT

    Biggest Problem for SL is the top order in Batting. Still we are struggling to find a opener and batting backup for 15 man Squad. I can see solutions to both these problems in Danushka and Dikwella. Danushka is ideal to open the inning with Dilshan while Dikwella can be included as the Batsman/Wicket-keeper Back up for the 15 man WC squad. But having identifying the problem, still SLC plays Dilshan at top without giving a good run to these two batsmen even in this kind of minor tour. By doing this you will not be able to see the talent of both these players. They are under tremendous pressure to perform. Ideally SLC would hav rested Dilshan for this tour. Sick strategies........

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