After persistent rain and a damp surface made play impossible in Guwahati, India and Sri Lanka will now travel to Indore for the second game of the series on Tuesday (January 7).
The hosts have a comfortable lead as far as the shortest format of the game is concerned. India have won 11 of the 17 T20 Internationals played between the two nations with only five going to Sri Lanka. One game was abandoned.
India hold a 3-1 lead in the last five T20Is as well while four of the last five T20 games between the two sides in India have all been taken by the hosts.
Ground details and team combination
The Holkar Stadium has been a fortress for India. They have won each of the two Tests, five ODIs and one T20I that they have played. Their only T20I here was, in fact, against Sri Lanka back in 2017 when they amassed 260/5 in their 20 overs. It is fair to say that the islanders will have a huge task up their sleeve going into Indore.
The bat has dominated the ball if we look at more recent numbers too. In 22 T20 matches since the start of 2019, the batsmen have scored at a run rate of 7.5 with a wicket falling every 18.3 deliveries.
The ODIs and T20Is played here have all been high-scoring affairs and the narrative is expected to remain the same come Tuesday. So, a batting-heavy side should be a no-brainer.
On the bowling front, the pacers have done more damage when compared to the spinners. Since the start of 2019, they have picked up 162 of the 230 wickets to fall here in T20s, striking every 18.4 balls whereas the spinners have returned with 68 wickets at a strike-rate of 25.5.
Further diving into the different bowler types, right-arm pacers and left-arm pacers unsurprisingly head the list with a strike-rate of 18.3 and 19 respectively since January 2019. Left-arm orthodox bowlers also have a decent record at this venue.
A combination of five frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, three all-rounders, one spinner and two fast bowlers could be the way to go for this match.
Virat Kohli’s T20 numbers don’t always get the air time as compared to his Test and ODI statistics. But the Indian captain is just as good in the shortest format of the game. India’s leading run-scorer of 2019, in 10 T20Is Kohli amassed 466 runs averaging a hefty 77.67. Furthermore, his record against Sri Lanka is also terrific. In four innings against the islanders, Kohli has slammed 283 runs averaging 94.33 having scored a half-century each time he has faced them. With the opening game washed out, Kohli knows one mistake can mean the series slipping away and he will want to put his best foot forward in Indore.
KL Rahul has been in and around the team setup but it was only in 2019 that he was able to cement a place in the side at least in the shortest format of the game. Rahul had an impressive 2019 where he smashed 356 runs in nine innings striking at 142.4. He has good memories of Indore too. The last time he played a T20I at this venue, Rahul smashed a 48-ball 89 against the same opponent. He will be keen to start off the new year on a similar vein.
Kusal Perera hasn’t exactly set the stage on fire against India but his record against them is still decent. In six innings, the left-hander has 174 runs at a strike-rate of 148.7 and an average of 29. Moreover, what should further convince you to take Perera in your side is his record in Indore. The only T20 game he played here, Perera smoked 77 in just 37 balls pummelling the Indian bowlers to all parts of the ground. If he can get off to a start, he is one player who can help you gain crucial fantasy points.
He is back, he is fit and he is raring to go. Jasprit Bumrah spent the last four months recovering from a back injury and will desperately want to torment the batsmen once again. It was frustrating for the bowler as he spent the bulk of late 2019 injured but in a year when India will be gearing to claim the T20 crown, Bumrah is one player who they certainly want to be firing. Bumrah was at his effective best in the limited T20s he played in 2019. In 18 T20 games, he returned with 22 wickets striking every 19 balls. He will want to start of 2020 on a similar note.
After a rain-marred affair in Guwahati, the weather is thankfully much clearer in Indore. It is expected to be cloudy the whole day but rain is likely to stay away. The temperature is expected to hover around the mid 20-degree range on average with the evening getting slightly colder.
Virat Kohli (c), Kusal Perera (wk), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Danushka Gunathilaka, Shivam Dube, Isuru Udana, Washington Sundar, Wanindu Hasaranga, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga