Sri Lanka vs India: Winnable factors for first T20I
Sportsbet.io highlights the key factors that will decide who seals a win in the first T20I between Sri Lanka and India.
Bat first or second
After securing a 2-1 series win in the ODIs, India will take on hosts Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo starting on Sunday, July 25.
The pitch at the venue has remained dry and has been on the slower side in the three 50-over matches between the two sides. Similar type of pitch is expected for the upcoming three-match T20I series.
The R Premadasa Stadium has hosted 36 T20I matches till date with the chasing team winning 18 of those matches while teams batting first have won on 17 occasions. Due to the recent nature of the surface, the toss-winning captain will look to put runs on the board and defend in the first T20I between Sri Lanka and India.
In Sri Lanka vs India head-to-head record in the T20s, the stats clearly favour the Men in Blue who have won 13 of the 19 matches played between these two sides. On the other hand, Sri Lanka have managed just five wins while one match ended with no result.
Sri Lanka will once again bank on their swashbuckling opener Avishka Fernando in the first T20I against India. The 23-year-old was the highest run-getter in the recently-concluded ODI series, amassing 159 runs in three matches at an average of 53.
For the visitors, Suryakumar Yadav will be the batsman to watch out for. The Mumbai-born cricketer was adjudged the player of the series in the ODIs as he aggregated 124 runs in three innings at an impressive strike rate of 122.77. He is tipped to continue his incredible form in the first T20I on Sunday.
In the bowling department, Akila Dananjaya will be go-to bowler for Sri Lanka in the opening T20I. Dananjaya troubled the famed Indian line-up in the third and final ODI, claiming three important wickets of Suryakumar Yadav, Nitish Rana and Krishnappa Gowtham. Dananjaya’s three-wicket haul helped Sri Lanka restrict India to a paltry score of 225.
Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal is likely to be the wrecker-in-chief for the visitors on Sunday. Chahal was the standout bowler for India in the recently-concluded ODI series, picking five wickets in two matches at an average of 20.40. The 31-year-old will look to continue his good form ahead of the T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in UAE and Oman later this year.
Words: Kunal Biswas