India vs Sri Lanka, 2nd T20I: Key player battles
As India clinched the opener of the three-match series, the second T20I will be a do-or-die affair for Sri Lanka. The opener, which went right down to the wire, saw India prevailing by two runs. Deepak Hooda and Shivam Mavi starred for the hosts. SL also walked away with numerous positives. Here we look at the key player battles ahead of the second T20I.
Ishan Kishan vs Kasun Rajitha
Indian opener Ishan Kishan, who recorded the fastest ODI double-century last month, managed a 29-ball 37 in the opener. The southpaw was aggressive from the outset as he smashed pacer Kasun Rajitha for two boundaries and a six in the opening over. Bouncing back would be a challenge for Rajitha as he has an economy rate of 8.82 vs left-handers in T20 cricket.
Suryakumar Yadav vs Wanindu Hasaranga
The top-ranked T20I batter, Suryakumar Yadav could only manage seven runs in the opener. He would be raring to bounce back in the second game. SL's Wanindu Hasaranga, who claimed 1/22 in four overs in the opener, would look to keep the dasher quiet once again. His job won't be easy as SKY boasts an astonishing strike rate of 193.75 vs leg-spinners in T20Is.
Pathum Nissanka vs Shivam Mavi
SL's leading run-getter in T20Is last year, Pathum Nissanka was dismissed for one in the opener. He fell prey to debutant pacer Shivam Mavi, who dismissed the SL batter in the very first over of the innings. Mavi took three more wickets and returned with 4/22 in four overs. While the pacer would look to dismiss Nissanka cheaply again, the latter would seek redemption.
Dasun Shanaka vs Yuzvendra Chahal
SL skipper Dasun Shanaka gave India a scare in the opener, scoring a 27-ball 45. The swashbuckler, however, couldn't take his side over the line. As Shanaka has a T20I strike rate of 96.89 against leg-spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal will look to dominate him. Notably, the latter struggled in the opening game, conceding 26 in two overs. He also failed to take a wicket.
Pitch report, timing, and TV listing
The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune will host the second T20I on Thursday (January 5). The venue boasts an average first innings total of 153 from three T20Is. Spinners have been a force to reckon with at the venue. The match will be telecast live on Star Sports Network and live-streamed on the Disney+Hotstar app (7:00 PM IST).