If India were shocked by how Sri Lanka bounced back from the Test trouncing to take the first Twenty20 match they should consider something else. The visitors came out on top without much help from Tillakaratne Dilshan and Sanath Jayasuriya, their biggest T20 players.
What lies in store for the Indians if the two fire in unison at Mohali is matter the Indians won’t want to consider at the moment.
Having their backs to the wall after losing the opening tie, India need to iron out their flaws and get their act together if they nurture any hopes of squaring the series.
Gautam Gambhir has been going great guns and MS Dhoni would love to see him continue in the same vein. However, Virender Sehwag’s form, in the shorter version, still remains a worry. Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and Yousuf Pathan, who are considered T20 specialists, also need to fire to avoid another T20 series defeat.
Sri Lanka, in contrast, are making most of their batting resourses and their skipper’s good form has lifted their morale.
Except Ishant Sharma, fast bowlers of both the teams were not up to the mark in Nagpur. It could be a different story in Mohali as the pitch here traditionally has something for the fast bowlers.
Another factor is the temperature, with Mohali being cooler than Nagpur. The Sri Lankans have no experience of such conditions back home and this could suit the hosts. With the game starting in the evening the toss will be tricky as dew could play a role.
“More than the wicket we are concerned about the weather. It will be cold out here as the temperature drops in the evening,” said Dhoni. “Dew can come into play but here at PCA they spray some fluid which subdues the dew factor. I hope it doesn't have the same effect as in longer duration of the game,” he added.
With Sreesanth not recovering from viral fever, Ashok Dinda is set to hold his place. Rohit Sharma will also miss the game because of a shoulder injury sustained during the last match. Ravindra Jadeja has joined the squad as cover.