T20 preview: India aim to extend winning run

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Updated: Monday, August 6, 2012, 17:27 [IST]
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T20 preview: India aim to keep winning

Pallekele, Aug 6: India will look to extend their domination of Sri Lanka and wrap up their tour with yet another victory when the lone Twenty20 International takes place here at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium on Tuesday (starts at 7.00 PM IST).

With the ICC World Twenty20 2012 scheduled to begin in Sri Lanka on September 18, this one off game will provide both teams to prepare for that big event.

In the just concluded five-match One Day International series, India demolished their opponents 4-1. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir emerged as the batting stars while all-rounder Irfan Pathan impressed with the ball.

It is one more opportunity for Irfan to push for World T20 selection. With the Indian selectors set to name the squad before the August 18 deadline, Irfan has already made his case for selection.

The only worrying factor for Indian team was the form of Rohit Sharma. The Mumbai right-hander went through a horrendous run that he tallied just 13 runs in five innings.

That also earned him the dubious distinction of least scores in a five-match series by a visiting specialist batsman in Sri Lanka.

He will certainly be not part of the playing XI for Tuesday's game. His international cricket journey will be halted temporarily. With the new domestic season set to start, Rohit will have to score heavily to earn a pace back in the Indian team.

Going by the current form, India will be strong favourites to clinch this one off game. Only concern could be their bowling which was not so impressive.

Captain MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag and Suresh Raina scored runs in the ODI series. But Sehwag has returned home due to an injury. Zaheer Khan is also back home. Manoj Tiwary too grabbed his chance with a half century.

For Sri Lanka, Kumar Sangakkara's absence is hurting them. They have good all-rounders in Angelo Mathews and Thisara Perera who are good in the shortest form of the game. But will they be able to stop the in-form Indian side remains to be seen on Tuesday.

Squads: India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli (vice-captain), Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin, Irfan Pathan, Pragyan Ojha, Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda, Rahul Sharma.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Angelo Mathews (vice-captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal (wicketkeeper), Nuwan Pradeep, Lasith Malinga, Chamara Kapugedera, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne, Isuru Udana, Rangana Herath.

Match starts at 7.00 PM IST. Catch all action, live ball by ball commentary, updates, match report on www.thatscricket.com


Story first published:  Monday, August 6, 2012, 12:03 [IST]
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