With the series levelled at 1-1, India and Sri Lanka will come face to face for the final time on this tour in the all-important third and final Twenty20 International at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday (July 29). The visitors will once again be without nine of their regular players and this will give Sri Lanka a perfect opportunity to win their maiden bilateral series against India.
GROUND DETAILS AND TEAM COMBINATION
Premadasa has generally been a batting friendly venue but the batsmen have struggled to get going in this series. They have scored runs at an average of 21.4 and have lost a wicket every 18 deliveries. The likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar and Dushmantha Chameera did well in the first T20I, while the second belonged to the spinners. There are some quality spinners on offer and it would be ideal to have at least three-four of them in your XI.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing your own team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Based on your preferences, the platform will guide you to create the ideal fantasy XI.
Shikhar Dhawan has transformed himself into a consistent performer in the shortest format of the game. The left-handed opener amassed 618 runs (at 44.14) at an impressive strike rate of 144.73 in IPL 2020. He was also the leading run-getter in IPL 2021 - 380 runs at 54.28 before the tournament came to a halt. The left-handed opener has scores of 40 and 46 in this series and would be eager to end this tour with a big knock.
Our Criclytics Player Projector predicts Dhawan could score 33-53 runs in this match.
Wanindu Hasaranga has been a star performer for Sri Lanka for a while now. He also scored vital 15 runs in the second T20I and has consistently been picking wickets for Sri Lanka. He has taken 17 wickets in 13 T20Is since 2020, the most for Sri Lanka. The impressive aspect about him is his economy of 6.1 runs per over, the lowest amongst all prime leg-spinners since 2020.
Devdutt Padikkal made his T20I debut on Wednesday and clearly looked the most fluent Indian batsman. The left-hander from Karanataka scored 29 off 23 deliveries before falling to Hasaranga. Padikkal is only 21 but has already proven himself in the domestic circuit and the IPL. Since 2020, Padikkal has scored 915 runs in 28 T20s at an average of 35.19 and a strike rate of 132.2.
Here are the top-11 picks as per Criclytics projected points:
Sanju Samson has struggled big time against Hasaranga in the three T20Is he has played against the Sri Lankan legspinner. Samson got out to him on the first delivery in the first two encounters, failing to pick his googly. On Wednesday, he was so worried about the googly that he could only manage two runs off six deliveries against Hasaranga. It would be interesting to see how Samson tackles him in the third and final T20I. You can check out more in-depth projections and key match-ups for this match here.
Sri Lanka: Avishka Fernando, Minod Bhanuka (wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka (c), Ramesh Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (wk), Nitish Rana, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Rahul Chahar, R Sai Kishore/Arshdeep Singh, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy.