Sri Lanka (above) aim to win a T20I series against India after a long wait © AFP
Sri Lanka will aim to win a T20I series against India after a long wait © AFP

Despite a convincing five-wicket win in the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) at Pune, Sri Lanka slumped to a 69-run loss in the second match at Ranchi, thus leaving the series tied 1-1. It is now or never for the Lankans as they make their way to the deciding game against India in the third and final T20I at the Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Vishakhapatnam on Sunday. As the game is a series decider, both the teams would be aiming to field their best playing XI. The visitors, who aim to take a bilateral series against India after a long wait, will be especially careful of their side. Ayush Gupta predicts the playing XI for Sri Lanka in this tie. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs Sri Lanka 2015-6, 3rd T20I at Vishakhapatnam

Top order: Despite being give a couple of chances, Danushka Gunathilaka has failed to fire, getting dismissed for single-digit scores on both occasions. He could be replaced by Niroshan Dickwella, who played the first T20I but was dropped from the second. Tilakaratne Dilshan is most likely to retain his place, despite getting dismissed for an unfortunate duck in the previous tie. In at No. 3 will possibly be skipper Dinesh Chandimal, who is perhaps the main batsman of the side after Dilshan.

Middle order: The middle order will begin with Chamara Kapugedera and Milinda Siriwardana, both of whom batted well for 25 and 21 respectively in the last match. Dasun Shanaka too would retain his spot at either Nos 6 or 7. Seekkuge Prasanna could be replaced by Asela Gunaratne after failing to make an impact in the first two matches.Though he took a hat-trick in the previous T20I, pace bowler Thisara Perera has not been at his best in the series with either bat or ball. He will need to come good as the lower-order hitter.

Bowling attack: Sachithra Senanayake, Kasun Rajitha, and Dushmantha Chameera make up the bowling attack. Although Rajitha and Chameera look set to retain their spot following a fair display of bowling, Senanayake could just miss out on his spot to either Jeffrey Vandersay, Dilhara Fernando, or Binura Fernando depending on whether Sri Lanka want an extra pacer or spinner.

Thus, going by the performance from both the games, a couple of changes are likely. With the Asia Cup T20 as well as the ICC World T20 2016 in mind, it will not be a bad option to rotate the squad and try out a couple of changes to find out the best possible combination for the big event.

SL likely XI for 3rd T20I against India: Niroshan Dickwella, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Dinesh Chandimal (c&wk), Chamara Kapugedera, Milinda Siriwardana, Dasun Shanaka, Asela Gunaratne, Thisara Perera, Sachithra Senanayake/ Jeffrey Vandersay/ Dilhara Fernando/ Binura Fernando, Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera.

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer and is also a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) maniac. He can be followed on Twitter @Ayush24x7)