India and Sri Lanka will lock horns in the third T20I in Rajkot on Saturday (January 7). Sri Lanka’s victory in Pune has kept the series alive, thus making the Rajkot fixture a decider.
Ground Details and Team Combination
The fourth T20I between India and South Africa in the month of June is the only international T20 that Rajkot’s Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium has hosted in this decade. However, the SCA Stadium was host to 14 games during the 2022/23 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy which ended in November.
There was not much of a difference between the batting average of both the innings. Teams that batted scored at an average of 25 while the chasing teams had an average of 24.5. The run-rate has been the same in both innings - 7.8.
Spinners enjoyed this venue during the Syed Mushtaq Ali games, picking a total of 42.2% of the wickets. An economy of 7 also speaks in favor of spinners. As we saw in the aforementioned India-South Africa game in June, Indian spinners - Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel - picked three wickets for 40 runs in 7.5 overs between them. Hence, spinners could well come into play in this game.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
Stats That Matter
- Axar Patel has 30 wickets in 38 T20s since 2022 at 29.8 runs apiece. While his bowling has been hit and miss, subjected to the pitches, his batting numbers have improved. Since 2022, Axar has averaged 28.5 with the bat while striking at 155.9. It is this all-round package on a wicket expected to help him that makes him a tempting option to lead your fantasy fortunes in this series-decider.
- Kusal Mendis has been one of Sri Lanka’s top T20I batters since 2022, scoring 601 runs at an average and strike-rate of 20.1 and 133.6 respectively.
- Maheesh Theekshana has tapered off in the last few games. Since October, 2022, his bowling average has soared up to 26.4 runs per wicket.
- Wanindu Hasaranga vs Suryakumar Yadav in T20Is: 22 balls, 41 runs, 1 dismissal, 186.7 strike-rate
Grand League Punts
- Barring his debut, Umran Malik has been among the wickets in each of his other four games. He can be expensive as his T20I economy of 11 suggests but he is a wicket-taking machine.
- Left-arm pacers have proven to be India’s kryptonite on many occasions. Hence, the Dilshan Madhushanka emerges as a dark horse if you want to make big bucks.
- Yuzvendra Chahal has struggled of late but SCA is a venue where he can be seen at his best again. In five matches at the venue, Chahal has claimed nine wickets at only 16.6 runs apiece.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
India: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya ( c ), Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Shivam Mavi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Yuzvendra Chahal
Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka ( c ), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Lahiru Kumara, Dilshan Madushanka