India have a point to prove

The Asian Age.  | Irfan Haji

Sports, Cricket

Rohit & Co. would be eager to break their T20 duck at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. (Photo: BCCI)

Mumbai: India will step into the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday with a realistic hope of whitewashing familiar foes Sri Lanka. The hosts had won the three-match Test series 1-0, rallied to win the three-match ODI series 2-1 before sealing the T20 contest with back-to-back victories in Cuttack and Indore.

Besides, a grand finish to the series, India would want to improve their T20I rankings and better their recent record at the Wankhede in the shorter formats.

India lost the five-match ODI series decider here against South Africa in 2015 and were knocked out by eventual champions West Indies in the ICC World T20 last year. Just two months ago, they went down to New Zealand in an ODI series opener.

Over the years, the Wankhede wicket has produced high scoring games in recent times and Rohit Sharma & Co. would be eager to continue their rampaging run with the bat.

As captain, Rohit has already made a great impression.

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He slammed an ODI double ton — his third overall — and on Friday equalled the record for the  fastest T20I ton in 35 balls. However, he has a point to prove at his home ground where he is yet to score a half-century in a limited-overs international.

Sri Lanka, who haven't tasted much success except for the lone victory in the opening ODI, would be hoping to end the tour on a high. Lanka pacer Suranga Lakmal troubled the Indian batsmen when the pitch had assistance for fast bowlers during the Kolkata Test and Dharamsala ODI. Sri Lankan spinners have made little impact as they lacked X-factor to unsettle the home batsmen.

Their batting, barring in-form Upul Tharanga, leaves a lot to be desired and now they will miss the experience of Angelo Mathews in the middle-order who has been ruled out beacause of a hamstring injury.  

Indian wrist spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have enhanced their reputation in the middle overs and the Sri Lankan batsmen are yet to pick the variations of the young spinning duo.

It will be last match at home for India before they embark on a tough tour of South Africa.

Having already won the series, the likes of Mohammad Siraj, Basil Thampi, Washington Sundar and Deepak Hooda may get a look in.

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