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HomeCricket1st T20I - India v Sri Lanka: How will inexperienced India go?

1st T20I – India v Sri Lanka: How will inexperienced India go?



Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

Looking forward to the end of this series? Just want the South Africa v India showdown to start? Think this is pointless?

You may be right… But, when you consider India have not lost a bilateral series in any format in 2017 (excluding one-off T20I loss to West Indies), it will be interesting to see how India’s youngsters go about ensuring this record stays alive.

India will be without Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, three players who have formed part of the core of the Indian limited overs line up. In a way, that actually might increase interest in this series (it certainly has for me) because Sri Lanka would have barely stood a chance against a full-strength India line up. In India’s squad, Basil Thampi, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar and Mohammad Siraj have played a total of two internationals between them. Shreyas Iyer made his debut only last month, and despite Jaydev Unadkat making his debut in December 2010, he’s played just nine games across formats.

This surely represents an opportunity for Sri Lanka to end a disappointing 2017 on a high. In contrast to India, Sri Lanka will get their experienced players back after missing the series against Pakistan recently, and will look to make things right after a missed opportunity after going 1-0 up in the ODI series.

Will they revel in the chance to win a series in India, or will they be weighed down by the possibility of losing to an inexperienced India team?

Key to an India win

Contributions from the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and MS Dhoni is very important, but solid performances from India’s inexperienced players will go a long way to victory.
Why I say this is that good performances from the lesser-experienced players will increase morale and confidence in the playing group, and when any team has these qualities, it is always a difficult task to beat them. Shreyas Iyer in particular looked good in the last two ODIs, and will want to keep the momentum going in Cuttack.
You get the feeling that Sri Lanka’s focus will be on dislodging India’s big players, so if the others can make good contributions, it will set them up nicely.

Key to a Sri Lanka win

Like the ODI series, Sri Lanka’s bowling gives them the best shot at victory.
Against this Indian line up, Sri Lanka’s bowlers must believe that they can set up victory for the team. Sri Lanka’s attack will be the same as the ODIs, except for the rested Suranga Lakmal, and must execute a lot better than they did in the final two ODIs, where India’s batsmen were very much on top.
Can a mixture of sheer pace and spin do the trick for Sri Lanka?

Predicted teams:

India XI: 1 Rohit Sharma (c), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Mohammed Siraj, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Sri Lanka XI: 1 Danushka Gunathilaka, 2 Upul Tharanga, 3 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 4 Angelo Mathews, 5 Niroshan Dickwella (wk), 6 Asela Gunaratne, 7 Thisara Perera (c), 8 Sachith Pathirana, 9 Akila Dananjaya, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Nuwan Pradeep
Stats & Facts:

  • India have a 6-4 record in T20Is in 2017. In recent series, both Australia and New Zealand managed to win games.
  • Sri Lanka have lost their last five T20Is
  • In 24 T20Is, Hardik Pandya averages only 10.76 with the bat, and has an economy of 8.19 with the ball. This has to be the time he steps up, and I have a feeling he’ll have a good series.
  • Sri Lanka captain Thisara Perera has the third worst economy rate in T20Is for bowlers who have bowled at least 20 innings. His economy rate of 8.95 is behind only Andre Russell (9.24) and Elton Chigumbura (9.28).
  • India have won their four T20Is against Sri Lanka.


This would have been really easy if India had their full strength team on the park. However, with India missing a few stars, this certainly brings the two teams pretty close.
I was very impressed with Shreyas Iyer in the ODIs, and will back him to have a really good game in the 1st T20I. I also think India’s bowling still has that excellent variety that will trouble Sri Lanka, a team low on confidence and prone to mistakes.
India to win, with Shreyas Iyer winning the Man of the Match award.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Coorey
Charbel is the owner & founder of, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has also been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at

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