It’s the beginning of a busy period for Indian cricket. They host Sri Lanka in three T20 matches, before battling with Australia in three ODI games later this month.
It’s then back to the T20 format with five matches against New Zealand, but up first is a tricky challenge at home to Sri Lanka.
India are fresh from a 2-1 T20 victory over West Indies in December, and will be looking for something similar this time around.
They come up against a Sri Lankan side who lost 3-0 to Australia in their last three-match T20 series. They’ll be out to prove a point in India, but come up against one of the best sides in the business.
All eyes will be on Barsapara Cricket Stadium come Sunday, where the pair will go head to head in the first encounter.
India currently sit fifth in the current T20 world rankings, two places ahead of the visitors in seventh. The hosts are available at 2/9 to win the first match, with their opponents currently 10/3 to go 1-0 up in the series.
The home side boast three players in the top ten T20 rankings, with Lokesh Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in sixth, ninth and tenth respectively. The three big-hitters will be keen to start the new year on a high.
Sharma has been rested for the upcoming series, leaving Kohli at 2/1 and Rahul at 10/3 to be India’s top batsman.
Shikhar Dawan is also available at 10/3, with Rishabh Pant currently 5/1.
Both Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey are 11/2 to be the top batsman for the hosts.
For the away side, it’s Kusal Mendis who is their most likely scorer with the bat. He’s currently 3/1 to be Sri Lanka’s top batsman in the first meeting between the sides.
Dhananjaya de Silva and Kusal Perera are available at 7/2. And both Avishka Fernando and Danushka Gunathilaka are currently 4/1.
Despite their supposed inferiority, Sri Lanka will be dangerous with the ball. They still have Lasith Malinga within their ranks, and he’s 5/2 to be his side’s top bowler.
Others looking to impress with their bowling figures include Kasun Rajitha and Wanindu Hasaranga. The former is currently 10/3 to be Sri Lanka’s top bowler, with the latter available at 4/1.
But India will also be formidable with the ball in the hand. Jasprit Bumrah will undoubtedly be among the wickets, and he’s 9/4 to be his nation’s top bowler.
Yuzvendra Chahal is 11/4 to impress most with the ball for India, with Ravindra Jadeja currently 7/2.
Holkar Stadium plays host to the second meeting on Tuesday, while Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium is the venue for the third and final game on Friday.
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