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Hardik’S Young Guns Target Series win – Probably playing Xi and more

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After a stinging victory in a final ball thriller at the Wankhede Stadium, Hardik Pandya can seal his first home series win when he leads the Indian side to the second T20I against Sri Lanka at the MCA Stadium in Pune.

India will be aiming for an early win against Sri Lanka when they take to the field for the second T20I of their three-game series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium, Pune on Thursday, January 4.

Opening the innings, Ishan Kishan (37 from 29 balls) provided a quick start but a mid-order collapse saw India in a tight spot, reduced to 94/5 in the 15th when Hardik (29 from 27 balls) been fired. However, Deepak Hooda (41 steps out on 23 balls) and Axar Patel (31 steps out on 20 balls) have united a vital 68-point partnership to give their bowlers something to defend against.

Shivam Mavi, making his T20I debut for India, took a wicket every time he played, finishing with impressive numbers of 4/22 to help lure the visitors. The match went to the wire with Axar successfully defending 13 points in the final to seal a 2-point win.

Although the performance was far from convincing, Team India can be proud of the combativeness it showed in difficult conditions. The spotlight will now be on the stars who failed to make the most of their opportunity.

Shubman Gill (7-for-5), another player who made his T20I debut in the game, looked tentative and will be eager to show his abilities in this game. Ruturaj Gaikwad is waiting on the flanks for his opportunity, but we expects Gill to have a good run to settle into the side. Yuzvendra Chahal also looked far from his best, finishing without a wicket and conceding 26 runs from just 2 overs.

However, there were quite a few bright sparks for India, with Umran Malik (2/27) showing good control during his spell and also captain Hardik (0/12) bowling at a good pace during his spell at three on the power play.

The Sri Lankan spinners have asked the Indian batters quite a few questions and they hope the same will be the case when they meet at the MCA stadium which is known for delivering a good spin. Maheesh Theekshana (1/29) and Wanindu Hasaranga (1/22) looked in good shape and are hoping for a better comeback in the second T20I.

The Lankan batting department will have to find a way to convert their starts, however, with only captain Dasun Shanaka (45 on 27 balls) capitalizing in Game 1. Chamika Karunaratne (23 steps on 16 balls) tried to pull off a late robbery but eventually ran out of partners late in the game.

Guide to the form (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)

India: WTWLW

Sri Lanka: LLWLL

Face-to-face

Matches played: 27

India win: 18

Sri Lanka wins: 8

No result: 1

Location and Conditions MCA Stadium, Pune: The MCA Stadium track is known for producing balanced encounters between bat and ball with an average first inning score of 153 in T20I and 162 in T20 National. However, the black ground used to make the pitches also provides a good turn bringing the spinners into play early in the game. The winning team of the Toss will be looking to play first and hunt, as the dew should also set in later in the game.

India vs Sri Lanka Likely Play XI

Likely India playing XI: Ishan Kishan (WK), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya (C), Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Shivam Mavi, Umran Malik and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Likely Eleven from Sri Lanka: Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis (WK), Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka (C), Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Kasun Rajitha and Dilshan Madushanka.

Where to watch: The match starts at 7:00 PM IST. It will air on the Star Sports Network. Online viewers can catch the action through the Disney+Hotstar app.

India vs Sri Lanka T20I Series Complete Teams:

India: Hardik Pandya (captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav (VC), Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar.

Sri Lanka: Dasun Shanaka (C), Pathum Nissanka, Avishka Fernando, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Kusal Mendis, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Charith Asalanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga (VC), Ashen Bandara, Maheesh Theekshana, Chamika Karunaratne, Dilshan Madushanka, Kasun Rajitha, Dunith Wellalage, Pramod Madushan, Lahiru Kumara, Nuwan Thushara.

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