It is not yet clear if Shaw and Suryakumar will be available for the second T20I
This preview was prepared prior to the scheduled start of the second T20I on Tuesday.
(completed matches, most recent first)
Sri Lanka LLLLL
In the spotlight
Like any new captain, Dasun Shanaka wants respect in the dressing room. So far on India’s visit, though, he has not quite found his best form with the bat, failing to produce those explosive, finishing innings. It is India’s wristspin that has usually worked against him – Chahal getting him twice in the ODIs, and Varun Chakravarthy having him stumped on Sunday. If he can overcome this apparent weakness, a boundary-laden innings would do Shanaka, and by extension the team, a world of good.
Hardik Pandya made headlines in Sri Lanka, first for giving Chamika Karunaratne (who describes Hardik as a role model) his bat before the first match, and then singing along to the Sri Lankan national anthem. This has been enough to win hearts on the island, but you suspect he is not particularly satisfied with that. His batting form seems to have deserted him, and his bowling has been only marginally better. He also dropped a straightforward catch on Sunday. He is generally a cricketer of such soaring confidence it seems almost unthinkable he could be feeling down about his game. But he’s got only two innings left to rediscover some of that hitting ability.
Pitch and conditions
The surface is likely to be good for batting again, though it will take turn, as all Khettarama tracks do. Colombo has had heavy rain on Monday, and there is a chance of bad weather interrupting the match, but there should be enough play to constitute a match.
India (possible): 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Ishan Kishan (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 K Gowtham, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Deepak Chahar, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Varun Chakravarthy
You would have thought Ashen Bandara batted himself out of the XI with his nine off 19 in the first match, but with Bhanuka Rajapaksa still likely to be out with a finger injury, and Asalanka also doubtful now with a hamstring complaint, Sri Lanka are running out of batters in the squad. Sadeera Samarawickrama may come in.
Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Avishka Fernando, 2 Minod Bhanuka (wk), 3 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Ashen Bandara, 6 Dasun Shanaka (capt.), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Isuru Udana, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Akila Dananjaya
Stats and trivia
- Despite having played 43 innings in the format, Shanaka’s T20I strike rate is 108.
- India have now won 11 of their last 12 completed T20Is against Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka’s three top T20I runscorers since 2016 – Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, and Danushka Gunathilaka – are all unavailable for this series. Kusal is out through injury, Gunathilaka is suspended, and Thisara retired earlier in the year.
*1220 GMT July 27, 2021 This story was updated with information about Krunal Pandya’s illness
Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf