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IND vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I Preview: Ishan Kishan's injury a concern as another series clean sweep beckons India

IND vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I Preview: Ishan Kishan's injury a concern as another series clean sweep beckons India

IND vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I Preview: Ishan Kishan's injury a concern as another series clean sweep beckons India
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By Prakhar Sachdeo  Feb 27, 2022 12:48:54 PM IST (Published)

Ishan Kishan was the Player of the Match in the first T20I for his flourishing 89 and scored 16 in last night's fixture. If the young batter is not deemed fit to participate in the third game then India would be forced to make changes in its batting order. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad had sustained a wrist injury ahead of the first match and was ruled out of the series. Mayank Agarwal was then added to India's squad as a replacement to Gaikwad.  Kishan's absence could open a spot for Agarwal. It would be interesting to note whom of Agarwal or Sanju Samson is preferred as an opener along with Rohit Sharma.

India's immediate concern ahead of the third T20I against Sri Lanka at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium in Dharamsala is the health and well being of batter Ishan Kishan. The 23-year-old sustained a head injury during the 2nd T20I after he was hit by a bouncer by Sri Lankan speedster Lahiru Kumara. Although Kishan did bat for a short while after the hit, he was admitted to a hospital after the match.

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Kishan was the Player of the Match in the first T20I for his flourishing 89 and scored 16 in last night's fixture. If the young batter is not deemed fit to participate in the third game then India would be forced to make changes in its batting order. Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad had sustained a wrist injury ahead of the first match and was ruled out of the series. Mayank Agarwal was then added to India's squad as a replacement to Gaikwad.  Kishan's absence could open a spot for Agarwal. It would be interesting to note whom of Agarwal or Sanju Samson is preferred as an opener along with Rohit Sharma.
This issue aside, India would be delighted by the form of Shreyas Iyer. The batter has been in a searing form in the series having hit back-to-back fifties. Iyer has who has been confined to the bench frequently in presence of Suryakumar Yadav has made the opportunity count. Iyer's show with the bat gives the Indian skipper more options as the team builds a squad for this year's T20 World Cup.
Despite the form of the batters, India's batting in the third game would look lean with only four specialist batters (Sharma, Samson, Iyer and Agarwal) in the playing XI.
The bowling unit continues to deliver consistently every match. The pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Harshal Patel have either managed to control the flow of runs or pick wickets.  With the series already in the bag, India could look to give either Mohammed Siraj or Avesh Khan a chance. Leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has done well in the two games but if the team wants to give Chahal a rest then Kuldeep Yadav or Ravi Bishnoi could be called upon.
Allrounders Venkatesh Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja should retain their spots. Back after an injury, Jadeja smashed a blistering 47 in India's chase in the second game.
Sri Lanka are 0-2 down in the series but their recent history shows that they could deny India a series clean sweep. Sri Lanka were 0-4 down against Australia in their previous T20I series. But the team bounced back hard to win the fifth T20I game to deny Australia the joy of a clean sweep.
The batting looks in a good shape although there is still plenty of room for improvement.  Charith Asalanka and Pathum Nissanka hit fifties in the first and the second T20I respectively. Captain Dasun Shanaka hit a firey 47 in the second game.  The consistency of the middle order remains a big issue though for the team.
Sri Lanka have sorely missed the spin duo of Wanindu Hasaranga and Maheesh Theekshana. The two spinners can bowl in the Powerplay and control the flow of runs and also pick wickets. Praveen Jayawickrama and Jeffrey Vandersay have not been able to match the bar set by Hasaranga and Theekshana.
The express pace of Lahiru Kumara and Dushmantha Chameera can cause the batters troubles. But the two bowlers have been on the slightly expensive side in the two games thus far. Watch out for them in Australia later this year.
India are on a winning streak of 11 games. Can the team stretch it 12 or will the Lankans yet again prove as party spoilers?
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