India are looking like overwhelming favourites in the 2nd T20 International against Sri Lanka, to be played at the Holkar Stadium at Indore on Friday. Following up on the massive 93-run win at Cuttack on Wednesday, India, led by Rohit Sharma in the absence of Virat Kohli, would be looking to seal off yet another series win against a Sri Lankan side that has by and large been out of sorts through the entire tour, barring a spell in the first Test in Kolkata and the first ODI at Dharamsala. However, they possibly would have the best opportunity in the T20 format, where things can change in a rush.
There seems no end to the woes of the visitors. While the Indian youngsters have put their hands up to deliver the goods, the Lankans are going through a terrible phase of transition during which they are badly in need of reliable performers.
This series has hardly proved to be a good preparation for the challenging South Africa tour that awaits India next month, considering the home team's domination in the absence of a good opposition in favourable conditions.
The absence of regular skipper Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan and a transformed Bhuvneshwar Kumar has not given any respite to the Sri Lankans, who overtly rely on seniors such as Angelo Mathews. However, even the senior Lankan players have struggled to counter the Indian bowlers and batsmen. A robust domestic structure coupled with Indian Premier League (IPL) has prepared good bench strength for the hosts.
Players such as Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have managed to carve a niche for themselves immediately after making their international debuts.
Sri Lanka need captain Thisara Perera, Upul Tharanga and Mathews to lead by example. They have been a part of the side for long and only strong performances by them can infuse life and hope into this dejected side.
Players such as Dusmantha Chameera and Dhananjaya de Silva have shown promise and need guidance to be consistent.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose finishing prowess has been under the scanner for some time now, got some runs under his belt after being promoted to number four in Cuttack and is likely to continue in the same position so that he gets enough overs in a match situation before the ODI and T20 challenge in South Africa.
India: Rohit Sharma (capt), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj, Basil Thampi, Jaydev Unadkat.
Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera(capt), Upul Tharanga, Angelo Mathews, Kusal Janith Perera, Danushka Gunathilaka, Niroshan Dickwella, Asela Gunaratne, Sadeera Samarawickrama, Dasun Shanaka, Chaturanga de Silva, Sachith Pathirana, Dananjaya De Silva, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Dusmantha Chameera.
Match starts at 7 p.m. IST.