IND vs SL: Rohit Sharma and Co still face Wankhede challenge!

Updated: Dec 24, 2017, 16:49 IST | Subodh Mayure

Though India have won the series, they've yet to open their T20I win account at Wankhede

Though India pocketed the Twenty20 International series against Sri Lanka in Indore on Friday, making today's third and final game at the Wankhede Stadium a dead rubber, it will be an opportunity for Rohit Sharma to rock at his favourite venue and win his first T20I on his home ground. Wankhede has not been a happy hunting ground for India in the shortest form of the game. They have lost both their games here – against England in 2012 and West Indies during the World T20 tournament in 2016 when India were led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

India's captain Rohit Sharma drives against Sri Lanka during the second Twenty20 International in Indore on Friday. Pic/PTI
India's captain Rohit Sharma drives against Sri Lanka during the second Twenty20 International in Indore on Friday. Pic/PTI

Homeground pressure?
Rohit loves leading from the front and he has shown that in this series. He also excelled as skipper of the Mumbai Indians side in the Indian Premier League. Yet, he will feel the pressure. "Since I am leading the side for the first time, there is pressure and there will be pressure when we play the next match in Mumbai. I don't know when will I captain the side again, so every minute spent on the ground is important for me," said Rohit after India's series win against SL on Friday.

An opportunity for Iyer
Local lad Shreyas Iyer will be looking to grab an opportunity to delight the Wankhede Stadium crowd as well. With two ODI half centuries to his credit, he'll be determined for yet another good showing. Rohit's fellow opener KL Rahul will look to score yet another half century like he did in Cuttack and Indore before he leaves for South Africa. Presumably, the Indian think tank will not disturb their wrist spin combination of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav while pacer Jasprit Bumrah and all-rounder Hardik Pandya could continue to figure in the XI.

With the series in the bag, it is to be seen whether skipper Rohit, senior pro Dhoni and head coach Ravi Shastri would be tempted to play young guns, off-spinner Washington Sundar, pacers Basil Thampi and Mohammed Siraj or all-rounder Deepak Hooda.

Sri Lanka's woes
Sri Lanka may have lost the series, but today's game gives them the opportunity to play fearlessly. They kicked off the 261-run chase in fine fashion at Indore, before they lost their way. Angelo Mathews' fitness continues to be a talking point, but Lanka has more woes in their cup. Captain Thisara Perera along with pacer Nuwan Pradeep will be challenged to bowl in the right areas at Wankhede and they owe it to their supporters to stop India from running away with a 3-0 win.

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