The heat of the first T20 match between India and Sri Lanka is setting up a huge fervor at the Pune Stadium. With the match is all set to start on local time 19:30, evening, on February 9, contemplations over outcomes of the showdown are fizzing up.
Team India is currently on a tough form following the Australian Tour, where the squad clean swept the Aussies in the shorter format game. Sri Lanka is toughened to the core, fighting hard against strong Kiwi opponents in New Zealand in January. Even if the team could not ride over the Kiwis, the face-offs were fierce. In this context, it must be highlighted is that, New Zealand defeated Australia recently in Chapell-Hadlee ODI Trophy. Clearly, Sri Lanka battled a stronger opponent to that of India's.
The T20 Squad from the island country is certainly far more tenacious than the one India defeated in World Cup 2014. It is also true that, in the preceding years the Indian team has also solidified to become tougher. Sri Lankan Team, in contrast has developed a strategic outlook over the shorter format, playing it with must dexterity than before.
Home conditions would certainly offer a fillip to Dhoni's Squad. Sri Lanka's tract record in T20 has not been upbeat on off-home-ground conditions. The team has also played less number of limited over games than their Indian counterpart, who toured foreign lands for at least two months throughout past couple of years. The scenario is almost clear that India's bet on the current series is heavier than that of Sri Lanka. To run pass over the home crew, Chandimal's team will have to pose a hard hitting fight.
Absence of Virat Kohli in the Indian squad is certainly a 'plus' point for Sri Lankans, as it means that Indian batting will have only three fourth of the batting stance it had against Australia. Indian team selectors might have eyed for the coming T20 World Cup offering the player pre-combat leisure. However, it might turn out to be an odd score for the team. Similarly, Lasith Malinga's absence together with Angelo Mathews are apparent downsides of the Sri Lankan Team.
Sri Lanka will fight the T20 Troop that has won each of the last T20 matches it played. While, the Lankans lost five of last six shorter matches they played. Furthermore, Sri Lanka has won only a single T20 match against India in the country. The matches will be extreme for both the teams and it would be interesting to get hold of further developments.
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