The game’s shortest format will be on display at the Premadasa on Tuesday, as India end their successful One Day tour with a Twenty20 International. India holds the T20 World Cup, but have surprisingly played only two T20 internationals since their triumph in 2007.
With the T20 World Cup taking place in England later this year, today's game is a perfect opportunity to test team combinations for the crash and bang version of the game. The young Indian players certainly have a slight advantage in T20, as they are exposed to some high quality cricket in the Indian Premier League. Most of the current Indian batsmen are audacious stroke-makers, and I expect the likes of Yusuf Pathan and Yuvraj Singh to play a crucial role today. T20 is a batsman’s game, and big hitters will surely call the shots.
Sri Lanka must look to capitalize on any complacency from the Indian side. Often touring sides tend to lose a bit of focus towards the end of a tour, and Sri Lanka took a slight advantage of this in the final ODI. A defeat of 4-1 does not make impressive reading, so the hosts will look to end the series on a high with a win over the T20 World Champions. Dilshan was brilliant as an opener in the fifth ODI, and he will need to bat well along with Jayasuriya at the top of the order. I am also keen to witness how Dilshan responds to the additional pressure of captaincy.
Murali and Mendis will not have a big impact in T20, as they just have 4 overs to bowl with short boundaries, and will have to go on the defensive. Murali went for plenty in the last edition of the IPL, so his approach against the Indians today will be quite interesting. (TCM)