3rd T20I Pacers, Top Order In Focus As India Look To Win T20 Series Against Sri Lanka

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The young pace bowling unit was in bits and pieces from the previous night’s hammering. The pieces are broken into pieces. After a narrow last-ball victory in the opener, India suffered a 16-run defeat to level the three-match series 1-1 with Sri Lanka. Inconsistency in the young attack was one of the reasons for the defeat but going forward Umran Malik and Shivam Mavi will know that it was a great learning experience for them.

They erred on their lines and did not always bowl fuller lengths, making it easier for the Sri Lankan batsmen to guide the pace of the short pitch.

The Indian bowling unit made runs with left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, who returned to the playing XI after injury, taking five no balls in his two overs.

He stepped over the line three times in his first over, making him the first Indian bowler to take a no-ball hat-trick in T20Is.

Mavi, who made a sensational T20I debut in the opening game, and Arshdeep Singh added to the no-ball count as they too missed the trick with skipper Hardik Pandya, who had to rely on his spinners, lamenting that the team needs to get its fundamentals right.

But the youngsters in the team are expected to get more opportunities as they gather valuable experience.

“Young kids will have these kinds of games sometimes, and I think we all have to be patient with them, (but) we have to understand that these kinds of games can’t happen,” head coach Rahul Dravid said.

“I think when they are learning, it is difficult. It is not easy to learn in international cricket. You have to learn on the job. I think we have to be a little patient with these guys,” he added. .

On the batting front, the top order, once again, failed to give a solid start. Shubman Gill succumbed to his second successive failure in the series and will be keen to capitalize on the opportunities at hand like Rahul Tripathi, who also perished cheaply on his debut.

This was the second top-order collapse in the series.

But despite half the team going back to the dugout below 60, it was heartening to see India still in the chase as Akshar Patel and Suryakumar Yadav pulled off the near-impossible.

In Axar, India have found a reliable replacement for Ravindra Jadeja.

The team is expected to give its core more games to form a lethal combination as it gears up for life beyond Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the shortest format of the game.

India head coach Dravid insists no changes are likely to be made for the series decider, saying, “We are not going to change people too much.” As expected, Sri Lanka gave a tough fight to the hosts. The reigning Asia Cup champions came back strong to level the series.

But they want their middle order to perform better.

Rajkot is one of the flattest tracks in the country and is expected to be a batting belter.

The toss can thus play an important role as both captains look to chase.

Team from:

India: Hardik Pandya (C), Ishan Kishan (WK), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Akshar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Omran Malik , Shivam Mavi and Mukesh Kumar.

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nisanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadira Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Vanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasranga, Ashen Bandara, Mahesh Texana, Chamika Karunaratne, Welka Madan, Rajushana, Deulia, Deulia. Madushan, Lahiru Kumara and Nuan Thushara.

The match starts at 7 pm.

(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and appeared on a syndicated feed.)

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