India face Sri Lanka in a one-off T20I on Wednesday    AFP
India face Sri Lanka in a one-off T20I on Wednesday AFP

Sri Lanka s batting might compared to that of the visitors India is quite pale. They were drubbed in the ODIs despite getting spectacular starts. Niroshan Dickwella, on few occasions, blazed his team to a fine score in the Powerplay. Upul Tharanga did the same in the concluding contest with 48 runs of a mere 34. However, the rest could not exploit the well laid foundation. Although there were vital middle-order contributions, they could not hold their nerves in the death overs.

Sri Lanka do not have to worry in the only T20I: launch a counterattack only for 20 overs, stressing very little on their frail temperament.

Sri Lanka are the weaklings in this format, as anyway has been the case in the ongoing series. Of 10 matches, they have trounced India in 4 matches, including two defeats at home. The last time they met was in the 2016 Asia Cup. You can guess the result.

The famous victory Sri Lanka had against the Indians was in the final of 2014 World T20. It is remembered for the Sri Lankan bowlers choking MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh in the death, while the on-song Virat Kohli was deprived of strike.

This T20I, in all probability, will be a breather for the hosts. A format known for celebrating the lighter side of the game, Tharanga and his wounded men may as well enjoy whatever comes their way.

Teams

Shikhar Dhawan flew back to India last week, to visit his ailing mother. With Ajinkya Rahane already available as a backup opener, there was no replacement called.

India dropped KL Rahul in the last ODI, giving Manish Pandey a chance at No. 4. Kedar Jadhav came ahead of Dhoni, at No. 5, although India were already in a position of strength.

The bowling unit boasted of pacers Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur, and spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

That being said, India cannot afford to bench their all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Akshar Patel. In addition, with Rahane less effective in the shortest format and especially on slower tracks, Kohli is more likely to partner his deputy Rohit Sharma at the top. Given his immense experience at that spot in IPL, he easily qualifies.

Likely XI for India: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Akshar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah

Choosing Sri Lanka s best XI will be a tough task, for us as well the team. Two days before the match, they announced a revised team, adding leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay and fast-bowling all-rounder Dasun Shanaka. In other news, Suranga Lakmal, who had back spasm, is in the best of his fitness. Meanwhile, Dushmantha Chameera and Vishwa Fernando were left out, and the exhausted Kusal Mendis was rested.

Well, with permutation and combination in abundance, dishing out the XI would be a painfully uphill climb.

Likely XI for Sri Lanka: Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Upul Tharanga (c), Dilshan Munaweera, Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Wanidu Hasaranga, Suranga Lakmal, Lasith Malinga, Jeffrey Vandersay, Akila Dananjaya

Predictions

The first innings score at R Premdasa Stadium is 155 and second innings 130. This makes it obvious that the team winning the toss will bat first, unless Kohli reasons that his side is better at chasing or he wants to challenge his batters.

TIME: 13:30 GMT | 19:00 IST