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India Predicted XI: Another debut likely as Dhawan & Co gear up for decider

India Predicted XI for 3rd T20I against Sri Lanka: To power the bench strength, all the five net bowlers have been inducted into the squad and there are chances of another uncapped player making his international debut tonight.

With 8 cricketers – identified as close contacts – in isolation after Krunal Pandya tested positive for Covid-19, Team India had no option other than field the remaining 11 in the 2nd T20I against Sri Lanka on Wednesday. Four youngsters were handed debuts but the overall performance wasn’t electrifying as India lost the game by 4 wickets after setting up a 133-run target for the hosts. And now the contest gets more interesting as a Covid-hit Team India prepares for the decider. To power the bench strength, all the five net bowlers have been inducted into the squad and there are chances of another uncapped player making his international debut tonight.

Here’s our India Predicted XI against Sri Lanka for the third T20I:

Shikhar Dhawan: There were rumours that Dhawan is down with Covid and out of the series. But no, he was there to lead his team and top-scored last night. He can be a show stopper if he finds the rhythm.

Devdutt Padikkal: The Karnataka batsman can be promoted up the order because he has been a big positive for his team, be it in domestic cricket or IPL, as an opener. He started off well batting at No. 3 but he can perform better if given a chance to open the innings.

Ruturaj Gaikwad: It was a nervy start for the batsman from Maharashtra. When Ruturaj takes the field tonight, he would need to bat with confidence which he showcased in the IPL for Chennai Super Kings.

Nitish Rana: Nitish Rana’s international career didn’t begin well. He couldn’t score much in the final ODI and the same was the case when he batted last night on his T20I debut. Since, this is his last chance to prove himself, promoting him up in the batting order may boost his confidence.

Sanju Samson: The Kerala cricketer continues to disappoint his fans with another failure with the bat. His weakness against leg-spin was exposed again last night but he still has another shot to prove his calibre.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The senior right arm-quick bowled extremely well last night until he was hit for a six by Chamika Karunaratne in the 19th over. However, Bhuvi knows how to make comebacks and he will surely do it when India take the field in the decider.

Kuldeep Yadav: Kuldeep was the major terror for the Lankan batters. He scalped two wickets, that too in quick succession. He will lead India’s spin attack in the 3rd T20I in Colombo.

Rahul Chahar: The youngster was pretty economic on Wednesday as the Lankan batter found it difficult to score against him. He returned with the prized wicket of Wanindu Hasranga, who looked dangerous at one point. The youngster would be eager to grab some more wickets when he takes the field against Sri Lanka tonight.

Varun Chakravarthy: The Tamil Nadu spinner bowled a commendable spell in the last game. He may have found his rhythm late but ended up as the most economical bowler. If he starts hunting from the word go, things can be much better for him and the team as well.

Chetan Sakariya: His international debut wasn’t that great. He may have got a wicket but he leaked a lot of runs. But one bad game must not be the parameter to rate his talent. He deserves another opportunity to unveil his real self.

Sandeep Warrier / Arshdeep Singh: As Navdeep Saini hurt his shoulder and was forced to leave the field, his chances to feature in the 3rd T20I are slim. If he is unavailable, there could be an uncapped pacer making his debut tonight. Either Sandeep or Arshdeep can take the spot. If a decision has to be made then, in most likelihood, Arshdeep will get the vote, given his experience in the IPL.

India predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Nitish Rana, Sanju Samson (wk), Bhuvneshwar (vc), Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Arshdeep Singh

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