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Nidahas Snoozefest Trophy Match 1 : IND v SL | RPS,Colombo

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Preview by Shirshendu Roy (Cricbuzz)
 
Let's get the obvious out of the way - India start as favourites to win the Nidahas Trophy, even though they field a second string side - one without their star batsman and regular skipper Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav. On the face of it, the powerhouses of the unit are missing but with the likes of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order, the No.3 ranked T20I machinery are unlikely to quiver. While the visitors made the voluntary choice of resting the top guns, Sri Lanka's is a forced one, with their star all-rounder and captain Angelo Mathews grappling with an injury again. The fragility of Mathews's body has been synonymous with the recent downfall of the team too, and as the veteran patiently - desperately at times, looks to put his body together, Sri Lanka's wait to be on the right track continues. 
 
On the form front, India find themselves in the pink of health, pushed very little by South Africa last month with the visitors winning the ODI leg 5-1 and the T20I series 2-1. Sri Lanka, too, have for now gathered themselves better and the wins in Bangladesh - across the tri-nation ODI series, and bilateral Tests and T20I series in Bangladesh - will give them solace, and why not? Having endured their worst year in cricket, copping 40 losses across all forms in a single calendar year - the most for any team, Sri Lanka learnt it the hard way that winning indeed is a good habit - something they have just realised. Just as any complacency could risk kicking in given the familiar environs of home - highly doubtful, they would not have forgotten their recent travails against India, with a tourwash at home and series losses across forms when they had toured India after that. 
 
While the hosts can rejoice the absence of the Kohlis, Bumrahs, Pandyas, etc, they will do well to remind themselves that it was not just Kohli who had caused them ample damage in the T20I series in December. KL Rahul returns to the fold against Sri Lanka again having scored 61 and 89 against them in December last year. The series will serve as an immense opportunity for the newbies - Washington Sundar, Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Siraj, Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant, and their intensity at the nets facility of the R. Premadasa Stadium on Monday (March 5), established their keenness further. 
 
While India hit the nets at full tilt despite the unrelenting humidity of Colombo, the hosts didn't push themselves much. However, there would be no dearth of competition from them with the returning Kusal Perera adding meat to their composition even though they chose to drop Niroshan Dickwella following his indifferent form. Whether or not Kusal Mendis will continue to open still remains under wraps. His recent twin fifties in Bangladesh though make him one of the forces to reckon with. 
 
What to expect: The humidity levels are only going to get worse as it shoots up to 79 percent on match day with the skies being partly cloudy. Although, all games are scheduled to be played under lights, the stickiness in the weather will challenge the players in the middle. 
 
Team News: 
 
India 
 
The Indian contingent didn't leave any stone unturned in the practice sessions on the match day. While Rohit, Dhawan and Rahul took the first hit in the three nets facility in the stadium complex, Suresh Raina was the next to knock a few. With doubts lingering over the bowling makeup, Vijay Shankar bowling at full threshold for close to an hour makes for a case to study. Jaydev Unadkat and Axar Patel were the usual suspects, with the latter certain to start having spent his time on the sidelines with wristspinners having taken precedence earlier. Washington Sundar too had a long toil, hinting at India's intentions of keeping themselves spin-heavy. 
 
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar/Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaydev Unadkat 
 
Sri Lanka 
 
With Dickwella ignored for the series, Kusal Perera is set to take over the wicketkeeping duties on Tuesday. Apart from that, the hosts might not look to tinker much with their composition, especially after the head coach Chandika Hathurusingha touched upon on the importance of 'starting well'. 
 
Probable XI: Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal (c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep 
 
What they said: 
 
"If you go by the ratings, India is the No. 1 [No.3] team, so they always start ahead of the other teams. Whoever comes from India is a very strong team. We have to start well because we haven't been doing well at home. With Bangladesh - because of the last series - we probably have a little edge over them mentally. But still, India is the No. 1 [No.3] team." - Chandika Hathurusingha, Sri Lanka head coach 
 
"As a captain or coach, you got to give them (wristspinners) confidence, it is important they understand their strength and weaknesses, it is important to exploit the strength lot more." - Rohit Sharma, India captain.

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28 minutes ago, sandeep said:

That's right.  Much better for team and fans to watch retired whiteys score 10x more runs than stud Pakistani prospects with 10 fans and 2 camels watching.   

Tell me how many of people interested about this series? If this series is profitable to broadcast why bigger networks like Star Sports or Sony did not want to telecast? 

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44 minutes ago, Lala said:

Tell me how many of people interested about this series? If this series is profitable to broadcast why bigger networks like Star Sports or Sony did not want to telecast? 

Nobody's claiming that this tournament's that important.  But are you trying to tell me that it wouldn't be better for Pakistani team, board and players to be playing international cricket instead of bowling to Sangakarra and batting against Shane Watson?  Even the fans would rather watch int'l cricket than the farce in UAE.  If you are being honest that is.  If you want to be all tribal pseudo-patriotic and "not give an inch" in banter, that's a different thing...

 

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5 hours ago, saik said:

Which channel is this telecast?

Channel 312 if you are with GTPL plan or try to ask your Local Cable operator

For DSPORT.

 

For internet log for cricketHD.net for 6 US dollar ( check demo before subscribe) not sure if HOTSTAR or SONYLIY,Showing Game.

 

PSL (9.30 pm) will be 30 minutes late because ind vs SL game will be over after

10.15 pm.

 

Girls Dancing showing up right now with Traditional Srilankan Colourful dresses 'toss near corner.Looks road track.

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12 minutes ago, sandeep said:

Nobody's claiming that this tournament's that important.  But are you trying to tell me that it wouldn't be better for Pakistani team, board and players to be playing international cricket instead of bowling to Sangakarra and batting against Shane Watson?  Even the fans would rather watch int'l cricket than the farce in UAE.  If you are being honest that is.  If you want to be all tribal pseudo-patriotic and "not give an inch" in banter, that's a different thing...

 

Come on yaar Its another league every country host every year. Your bowlers will bowl to foreigners in April in your league.  

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For the life of me ,i cant figure out why is dinesh karthink in the t20 team, whats baffling is that he is a proven failure at this level who has had countless opportunities to prove himself and he is still getting more while rahul who is in his prime with little chances and some actually great performances in t20 in the recent times.

To make matters worse there is already a keeper in this side in pant and still rahul gets overlooked ,this isn't looking good for his future tbh ,at some point in there he will start doubting himself and that wont be good for him and not for Team India too.

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1 minute ago, RAZPOR said:

For the life of me ,i cant figure out why is dinesh karthink in the t20 team, whats baffling is that he is a proven failure at this level who has had countless opportunities to prove himself and he is still getting more while rahul who is in his prime with little chances and some actually great performances in t20 in the recent times.

To make matters worse there is already a keeper in this side in pant and still rahul gets overlooked ,this isn't looking good for his future tbh ,at some point in there he will start doubting himself and that wont be good for him and not for Team India too.

i still havent figured that team has not learned anything from trying him again n again

saaala cricketers ka abhishek bachan hai 

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