Nidahas Trophy 2018: India aim to keep hurting Sri Lanka down
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Nidahas Trophy 2018: India aim to keep hurting Sri Lanka down

The Rohit Sharma-led India will look to make amends for losing the first game to Sri Lanka by building on their thumping win over Bangladesh in their last game in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20 Tri-series.

cricket Updated: Mar 11, 2018 20:27 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Hindustan Times, Colombo
Nidahas Trophy 2018,India vs Sri Lanka,Sri Lanka vs India
The Rohit Sharma-led India take on Sri Lanka in the fourth game of the Nidahas Trophy T20 Tri-Nation series in Colombo on Monday. (AFP)

At the half-way stage of the Nidahas Trophy 2018 tri-series, all teams have won and lost a game each. India, having bounced back against Bangladesh after losing to Sri Lanka in the opener, meet the hosts who failed to defend 214 against the Mahmudullah-led side on Saturday. (Nidahas Trophy full coverage)

The hosts have been dealt a major blow with skipper Dinesh Chandimal suspended for two games for a serious slow over-rate offence in their loss to Bangladesh. The suspension means Chandimal will miss out against India and the final league game against Bangladesh on March 16. The rest of the players were docked 60 percent of their match fee. In Chandimal’s absence, Thisara Perera will lead the side.

The result of the India versus Sri Lanka clash on Monday will give a clearer picture of which team is in pole position for the final. The Rohit Sharma-led side realises that and in the practice session on Sunday, India trained with lot of intensity.

(Read | Indian cricket team’s ploy after tough lessons in South Africa Test series loss)

Changes in India XI

Suresh Raina worked hard on his batting. He had a session against spin, a pace bowling session facing local net bowlers, a throw-down session with batting coach Sanjay Bangar and a stint facing the bowling machine. The one-hour batting session demonstrated the need for Raina to do well, having only managed scores of 15,31,43,1 and 28 since his comeback in the South Africa series.

(Read | Mohammed Shami remains hopeful of India comeback, reconciliation with wife)

Deepak Hooda batted for close to 40 minutes. The 22-year-old Baroda batsman who is yet to play for India was tested against the short ball and the way he coped with it pleased batting coach Bangar. KL Rahul went through the drills and the frustration of not being selected perhaps reflected as he furiously tapped the bat on his pads when he missed a shot. The session for Hooda might be an indication he could make his debut against Sri Lanka on Monday in place of Rishabh Pant, who managed just 23 and 7 in the first two games.

Jaydev Unadkat, who bowled with pace in the session, said handling the powerplay overs will make a big difference. “In the last two-three games, batsmen are playing well in powerplay. It is up to us to figure out how not to play to their strengths,” he said.

(Read | Mushfiqur Rahim’s knock best I have seen: Dinesh Chandimal, Sri Lanka captain)

Deflated Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s woeful record at the R Premadasa stadium was extended as they lost their second consecutive game to Bangladesh at the venue, having lost earlier in 2017.

The team did not train and will head into the match and could go into the game low on confidence after failing to defend 214 on Saturday. The Sri Lanka bowling unit has come under pressure with spinner Akila Dananjaya, the team’s No 1 bowler according to skipper Dinesh Chandimal, not taking a wicket and having an economy rate of 10.42 (runs conceded per over).

Although the bowlers have struggled, Sri Lanka batsmen, led by Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis, have been in wonderful form. The performances of these two batsmen have been the only plus for Chandimal’s side. If Sri Lanka are to win on a regular basis, they must do well with the ball.

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 18:02 IST