IND vs SL, 2nd T20I: India look to seal series as rain forecast looms in Dharamsala
The last two international matches at the picturesque Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) stadium – against South Africa in 2019 and 2020 – had been called off. While Dharamshala has seen scattered evening showers for the past few days, the weather could once again be a spoiler on Saturday as India prepare to play Sri Lanka in the second T20I.
As tradition dictates, HPCA officials also invoked the god of rain Indrunagpraying for clear weather on game days.
The HPCA stadium in Dharamsala seen on Friday. -Shayan Acharya
After a convincing victory in the opener in Lucknow on Thursday, India have a chance to take an unassailable lead in the 20-over series.
With the T20 World Cup scheduled for later this year, the Indian team management, under the watchful eyes of head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma, aims to create a central unit. They introduced quite a few changes to the hitting department, setting clear roles for specific players. And so far, the efforts have yielded results.
In the series opener, Ishan Kishan’s swashbuckling 89 guided the host to victory. His rough shots against the West Indies seemed to be a thing of the past as Ishan seemed comfortable turning the shot against the Lankans. His opening partnership with Rohit allowed India to dominate from the start. Both relying on their natural abilities, the stage was set for a high score match.
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With Virat Kohli rested for the series, Shreyas Iyer came in at No. 3 and capitalized on the opportunity by snapping a half century. Going forward, Iyer hopes to cement his place in the team. And that’s why, the remaining two T20Is are equally crucial for the Mumbai batter.
At the Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium, Ravindra Jadeja returned to action, with Rohit indicating that an in-form Jadeja will continue to bat higher up the order as the team are “very clear” with what she wants to “direct with him in white”. – cricket ball. With a seasoned campaigner like Jadeja back in the scheme of things, it also gives the bowling department a huge boost.
Despite the presence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah in their ranks for the opening game, the Indian team opted for debutants Deepak Hooda and Venkatesh Iyer. And on the HPCA track, which usually helps crimpers, a lot will depend on Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah.
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Sri Lanka, on the other hand, had a boring outing in Game 1 and would need a fight back to try to stay afloat in the series. With key spinners Maheesh Theekshana and Wanindu Hasaranga absent, the visiting team failed to make an impact in the opener and ahead of the key clash skipper Dasun Shanaka must ensure the players understand their duties and execute their plans well against a superior opponent.
With a limited number of fans allowed for the match, cricket aficionados in the Hill City are looking forward to indulging in some action-packed cricket over the weekend, while hoping the weather doesn’t disappoint.