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1.2 overs (0 Run)
Good shot but for no runs! Dhawan uses his feet and creams it right off the middle but straight to mid off.
1.1 overs (0 Run)
Right on the money to begin with! On a length and around off, Dhawan pushes it to mid off.
The returning, Angelo Mathews to partner his skipper first up with the new ball. He has not played a T20I for a long time and it will be interesting to see how quickly he adapts to the pace of the game.
0.6 over (4 Runs)
FOUR! A delightful shot to end the first over! A good one for India, 9 from it. It is slightly short and shaping away from Rahul. He goes back and just uses the pace of the bowler. Plays it nice and late and guides it past the diving point fielder and into the fence.
0.5 over (1 Run)
Well bowled but good running! This starts outside off and then tails back in. Dhawan looks to defend but gets an inside edge onto the body. It rolls beside the pitch and a quick single is taken.
0.4 over (1 Run)
One more single! Rahul works this through square leg and takes one.
0.3 over (0 Run)
On the shorter side around off, Rahul hops and cuts it towards point. It is to the right of the fielder who dives and gets a hand to it. The fielder at cover-point picks the ball up and has a shy at the non-striker’s end but misses.
0.3 over (2 Runs)
Wide and a run! That is a wayward delivery by Malinga! Dhawan comes down the track to negotiate the swing Malinga is getting. He though starts this around leg, it swings away further. Dhawan misses the flick. Perera only gets a glove to it. It goes towards fine leg for one run.
0.2 over (1 Run)
India are underway! This is shorter and on the body, Rahul flicks it by hopping. It goes uppishly but lands well short of Sandakan at short fine leg. He stops it awkwardly. A single is taken.
0.1 over (0 Run)
Good movement first up for Malinga! It is on a length and it starts on middle, shapes away a touch. Rahul defends it towards point. Rahul played it nicely with the movement.
We are all set to begin! The Sri Lankan players walk out to the field and take their respective positions. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul stride out to open the innings for India. Skipper, Lasith Malinga to start the proceedings with the new ball.
India Playing XI – KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli (C), Manish Pandey (IN FOR DUBE), Sanju Samson (WK) (IN FOR PANT), Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal (IN FOR KULDEEP).
Sri Lanka Playing XI – Danushka Gunathilaka, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Perera (WK), Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews (IN FOR RAJAPAKSA), Dhananjaya de Silva, Dasun Shanaka, Lakshan Sandakan (IN FOR UDANA), Wanindu Hasaranga, Lasith Malinga (C), Lahiru Kumara.
Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, says they wanted to bat first as they wanted to do something different so the toss was irrelevant for them. States batting first is something they want to do a lot more as they want to be more balanced. States the trend is going towards that team wanting to chase and you can’t go into the game thinking you will only play well if you get to chase so they need to be good batting first as well. Informs they have three changes, Kuldeep, Pant and Dube are replaced by Chahal, Samson and Pandey.
Sri Lankan skipper, Lasith Malinga, says there will be dew in the second half and that is why they want to bowl first. Further adds they will try and restrict India to a low total and then chase it down. States they need the top order to fire and play a long innings, they also need to build partnership and they need to do it today. Informs Angelo Mathews and Sandakan come in for Udana and Bhanuka Rajapaksa.
TOSS – We are all in readiness for the toss. Indian skipper, Virat Kohli has the coin in hand. Up it goes and Sri Lankan skipper, Lasith Malinga calls Tails and it comes down in his favour. SRI LANKA OPT TO BOWL!
PITCH REPORT – Murali Kartik and Sunil Gavaskar are down for the pitch report. Gavaskar says it is a ‘vada’ looking pitch. Explains there is a bit of grass but the ball will come onto the bat nicely. Adds that the pacers can trouble at the start if they hit the deck hard. Gavaskar says the trend to bowl first will continue but Sunil says that there is a possibility India can experiment by batting first as they cannot lose the series. Tells they are high on confidence and that can be a reason why they will be open to experiment.
Rain played spoilsport in the first T20I in Guwahati, India decimated Sri Lanka in Indore, will the Men in Blue seal the year’s first series at Pune? The hosts look too good in all departments against their counterpart and are well on course to start the T20 World Cup year on a positive note. Sri Lanka have a nag of upsetting when the odds are stacked against them. Malinga will hope for a better showing from his troops and put out a big statement. Can the Lankan Lions roar back or will the Indian juggernaut steamroll the visitors?