Cuttack: India will look to continue its supremacy over Sri Lanka when they meet in the first match of the three-game T20 International series at the Barabati Stadium here on Wednesday.
Fresh from a 2-1 win in the ODI series, a new image of India will once again be directed by Rohit Sharma, even as regular skipper of Virat Kohli and a few other regulars have rested for South Africa’s challenging tour at the end of this month. .
India enjoys a 7-4 record against the islanders in the shortest format, but has no happy memories of the lonely T20I instead.
The men in blue had retired by 92 in their defeat of six fields against South Africa in 2015, because the problems of the crowds brought infamy to the place.
Entering the tie on Wednesday, Rohit will have a new opening partner at Lokesh Rahul with Shikhar Dhawan resting for the rubber.
Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will guide the inexperienced middle order consisting of rookies Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda and Manish Pandey, while Dinesh Kartik and Hardik Pandya off-roader can provide stability in the lower order.
The bowling department will be headed by the jasprit bumrah expert, who will have the left arm pacemaker Saurashtra Jaydev Unadkat, from Hyderabad, Mohammad Siraj and two debutants at Washington Sundar and Thampi Basil for the company.
In addition to pacemakers, the trumpet duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are expected to deliver.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, has lost five T20Is at the trot, starting with the match against Bangladesh in April.
For visitors, Upul Tharanga was in top form during his 95th in the third ODI and would be the key along with former captain Angelo Mathews.
The islanders also want this bumper, Niroshan Dickwella, to find a way to give stability to the average order comprising Asela Gunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama and Thisara Perera.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shreyas Iyer, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (WK), Dinesh Kartik, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, jasprit bumrah, Deepak Hooda, Mohammad Siraj, basil Thampi , and Jaydev Unadkat.
Sri Lanka Team
Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera (captain), Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Janith Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (WK), Danushka Gunathilaka, Asala Gunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Nuwan Pradeep , Dananjaya De Silva, Dusmantha Chameera, Vishwa Fernando.