India vs Sri Lanka: Second T20 Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

We preview the second T20 International between India and Sri Lanka which is set to get underway on Friday at the Holkar Cricket Stadium. 

India's limited-overs dominance continued in Cuttack, where KL Rahul and Yuzvendra Chahal were instrumental in ushering the hosts to becoming - statistically - the most successful team in the history of T20I cricket.

Sri Lanka, meanwhile, failed to arrest the woes they suffered during the ODI series - and have a rather short turnaround time to offer much different 48 hours later.

India v Sri Lanka | Friday, 22 December | Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore | 15:30

To Win Match
India 34/100 | Tie 35/1 | Sri Lanka 9/4

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While there is no reason for the home side to make changes to their playing XI, positional switches are likely, after Rohit Sharma insisted Mahendra Singh Dhoni is best suited at four in the order - and Chahal could bowl earlier than usual.

Increasingly under fire from critics, Dhoni will again be afforded the chance to show his worth with the bat and behind the stumps. While his international career is evidently in its twilight, he still has a lot to offer.

In the absence of Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer will get more opportunity to impress. He promised plenty with a decent start in the series opener, but ultimately failed to convert. A half-century or more will be in high demand on Friday.

The opposition attack is hardly challenging India. This isn't ideal for their preparations ahead of a taxing tour of South Africa, but they must make the most of what is at hand - and hammer in another 180-plus score in Indore.

The dew factor will be a concern again, particularly if they bowl second. The wrist spin of Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, therefore, will be particularly tested by a slippery ball. It will be another examination of their grips with variations, indeed.

Sri Lanka
It had been a while coming, but Chandika Hathurusingha has finally taken over as head coach. He has been promised relative free reign with the selection, but just how quickly he finds the "right combination for the respective formats" will be interesting.

Collectively, Sri Lanka's bowling attack isn't that bad. Individually, they just need to find a way to eliminate the amount of bad balls being coughed up. Thisara Perera must lead by example.

One hopes the additional responsibility of the captaincy is not detracting from Perera's primary roles with the bat and ball. Evidently, it might be, but the talented all-rounder will be eager to prove doubter wrong.

Upul Tharanga has implored his team-mates to show more fight in difficult circumstances. He needs to be echoed in word and deed by the senior statesman - Perera Angelo Mathews, etc - in a team lined with inexperience.

The Holkar Cricket Stadium will host its first T20I on Friday. Sri Lanka have never played an ODI here, while India have never lost one here in five attempts. On the face of it, Perera should opt to bat first if triumphant at the toss.

Verdict: India 34/100
While their Test form showed some promise, it has since been a long and disappointing limited-overs leg for Sri Lanka, who won't likely halt the slide - and will have to avoid a series whitewash come Sunday's final match.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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