Match preview – India vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2022, 9th match, Super Four – ESPNcricinfo

Match preview - India vs Sri Lanka, Asia Cup 2022, 9th match, Super Four - ESPNcricinfo

Big picture

One bad result is all it takes to leave a team staring at possible elimination from the Asian Cup. Pakistan faced – and overcame – that challenge after losing to India in the group stages. And now it is India who are in a a precarious position after losing to Pakistan in the Super 4 round.

Rohit Sharma’s team cannot afford to lose against Sri Lanka in Dubai on Tuesday. If they do, the defending champions will have to rely on other results going their way to have a chance of making the final. And Sri Lanka will become favorites for a place in the summit clash.

Sri Lanka did not start the tournament well. They were dismissed for 105 in the opening game and then watched Afghanistan run down the target with 59 balls to spare. Since then, however, Sri Lanka have had two morale-boosting wins, chasing 184 in a must-win group game. against Bangladeshand 176 in their first Super 4 match against Afghanistan.
Sri Lanka’s batsmen are not globe-trotting T20 superstars but a big target seems to be unleashing them. Against Afghanistan, Pathum Nissanka, Kusal Mendis, Danushka Gunathilaka and Bhanuka Rajapaksa smashed quick 30s to overpower Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s 45-ball 84. They may follow the same plan in chasing against India as well.
Although India lost the penultimate ball against Pakistan, they had some big positives in that game. After a first-ball duck and a 39-ball 36 in his first two innings, KL Rahul found fluency and played some lovely shots during his 20-ball 28. His straight whip for a six off Naseem Shah was probably the shot of the match. Virat Kohli also looked close to his best, making a “conscious effort” to gain higher speed. While Kohli was at the crease, he scored 60 runs from 44 balls; batters at the other end won 45 of 45.
But as far as their campaign is concerned, it is crunch time, and India must beat Sri Lanka to remain in control of their own destiny at the Asia Cup. They will draw confidence from the fact that they bleached them at home in the three-match T20I series earlier this year.

Form guide

Sri Lanka WWLWL (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
India LWWWW

In the spotlight

Pakistan’s Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan suffocated India on Sunday, and Sri Lanka will be hoping their spinners Wanindu Hasaranga and Mahesh Theekshana can do the same. Both Hasaranga and Theekshana have impressive numbers in the UAE, and also have experience of bowling to the Indian batsmen at the IPL. On the other hand, India will also be aware of the tricks they have. All in all, it could be a contest that decides the game.

After going wicketless in India’s first two games of the Asia Cup, Yuzvendra Chahal had figures of 1 for 43 of his four overs in the Super 4 game against Pakistan. That presentation was on a pitch where the other three spinners in the match combined figures of 4 for 82 from 12 overs (economy 6.83). In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Harshal Patel and Ravindra Jadeja, India needed Chahal to up his game.

Pitch and conditions

The last three games in Dubai have had five innings with scores over 180. However, it all depends on which pitch Tuesday’s match will be played on, and its location on the square will decide whether there is a shorter boundary for batsmen to exploit. Evening temperatures will be around 35°C and the night won’t be much cooler, reducing the chances of dew playing a part in the chase.

Team news

Expect Sri Lanka, looking for a hat-trick of wins, to stick with the same XI.

Sri Lanka (probable): 1 Pathum Nissanka, 2 Kusal Mendis (wk), 3 Charith Asalanka, 4 Danushka Gunathilaka, 5 Bhanuka Rajapaksa, 6 Dasun Shanaka (captain), 7 Wanindu Hasaranga, 8 Chamika Karunaratne, 9 Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Fernando Ashana. 11 Dilshan Madushanka.

With Avesh Khan available, India could return to their original combination of three specialist fast bowlers, one specialist spinner, and two all-rounders. That could mean Ravi Bishnoidespite doing well against Pakistan, making way for Axar Patel.
With Axar being a left-handed batsman, and Hasaranga the only spinner with a stock ball who spins away from right-handers, India could also substitute. Rishabh Pants with their chosen finisher Dinesh Karthik.

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (captain), 2 KL Rahul, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Dinesh Karthik/Rishabh Pant (week), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Avesh Khan, 10 Arshdeep Singh, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Quotations

“When it comes to Asian cricket, everyone talks about India-Pakistan games. But I don’t mind the [lack of] great speech [around our team]. I’d rather focus on the way we play.”
Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka is happy with his side flying under the radar

“When you are under pressure, anyone can make a mistake. It was a big match. The situation was also stressful… but when the environment is good, you learn from those situations. And you look forward to the next opportunity. I give the credit to the captain and the team management for creating such an environment where everyone feels that the next time such an opportunity comes, we want to grab it.”
Virat Kohli supports Arshdeep Singh after the bowler dropped a crucial catch in the defeat to Pakistan

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