Boosted by their 3-0 whitewash of Australia down under, a rejuvenated Team India will look to continue their winning momentum when they take on a depleted and new-look Sri Lankan side in a three-match T20 series starting Tuesday. After a convincing display of quality and consistency in the series triumph in Australia, these three matches can potentially act as a springboard to help the team fine-tune their preparations for the Asia Cup T20 Championship beginning later this month in Bangladesh and then the World T20 set to take place in India in March-April.
India will look to not only continue their winning momentum and preparation for the upcoming T20 season but will look to win the series to retain their No.1 ranking in the shortest format of the sport.
To help you gear up for the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka, we did some number crunching and compiled the best set of stats related to India-Sri Lanka encounters in T20s.
1) India and Sri Lanka have met 6 times previously in T20Is, with the Lankans boasting a superior 4-2 record against MS Dhoni’s side. The last time these two cricketing giants clashed in the T20 format, it was in the World T20 2014 final in Dhaka which Sri Lanka won by 6 wickets.
2) Given that the recently concluded India-Australia series boasted some very high scores close to 200, and with the pitches in India expected to be even flatter, gear up for some big hitting. The highest ever total in an India Sri Lanka T20 is 215 for 5, posted by Sri Lanka in Nagpur in 2009. Team India’s highest total in T20 matches with Sri Lanka is 211 for 4 at Mohali. So rest assured, we’re in for a treat.
3) Consequently, the lowest ever total in an India-Sri Lanka T20 international is also held by the Lankans, a lowly 116 at Pallekele in 2012, a match India won by a handsome 39 runs.
4) Retired legend Kumar Sangakkara, who has so often been India’s nemesis in all formats of the game, holds the record for the highest number of runs in India v Sri Lanka T20s, boasting 235 runs in 4 matches at an average of 78.33 and a strike rate of 172.79 with three fifties.
Suresh Raina is India’s highest scorer in T20s against our Southern neighbors with 162 runs in 5 innings at an average of 40.50.
5) Virat Kohli, who has been in scintillating form in recent matches, with three fifties in three T20 games against Australia and a man of the series award, has a magnificent record against Sri Lanka – 145 runs in 2 matches at an average of 72.50. A good news for Sri Lanka is that he has been rested.
6) Oddly enough, as we shift focus to the bowling, Ashok Dinda and Yusuf Pathan are the most successful wicket-takers in India v Sri Lanka T20 internationals with 5 wickets each. While the in-form Ravindra Jadeja has failed to pick up a single wicket in three T20s against the Lankans. Good time for Jadeja to change an unwanted stat.
7) Sanath Jayasuriya and Kumar Sangakkara hold the record for the highest partnership in a T20 international between India and Sri Lanka – a 2nd wicket partnership at Mohali in the winter of 2009.
MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh are not so far behind with their 80 run stand for the 3rd wicket in the same match.
8) India’s Rohit Sharma, who has impressed one and all with his sparkling form down under, scoring two centuries and a 99 in the ODI series and two fifties in the T20 series, has a surprisingly dismal record against Sri Lanka. In 5 matches, the stylish opener has only managed 36 runs at a poor average of 12. This series provided the perfect platform for the opening batsman to improve his record against the Lankans.
Here are the India and Sri Lanka teams who will clash in the T20 series starting Tuesday.
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (Captain), Seekuge Prasanna, Milinda Siriwardana, Danushka Gunathilaka, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Asela Gunaratne, Chamara Kapugedera, Dushmantha Chameera, Dilhara Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Binura Fernando, Sachithra Senanayake, Jeffrey Vandersay, Niroshan Dickwella.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Pawan Negi.