Sri Lanka faces new challenge from India | Sunday Observer

Sri Lanka faces new challenge from India

Dinesh Chandimal and Rohit Sharma
Dinesh Chandimal and Rohit Sharma

Sri Lanka and India will herald the start of the tri-nation Nidahas Trophy cricket tournament on Tuesday, March 6 at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo with Bangladesh being the third team.The three teams will play one another twice before the two finalists are decided.Top players Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya and fast bowler Bumrah are not taking part in the tournament, but Sri Lanka will have to prove themselves against the Indians who are still a formidable force without their big names.

While fast bowlers Nuwan Pradeep Fernando and Suranga Lakmal have returned to the T20 squad, wicketkeeper-batsman Niroshan Dickwella has been dropped with Dhananjaya de Silva brought in.Leg-spinner Jeffrey Vandersay will once again miss out on a place as Sri Lanka has opted to go in with Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso and the recalled Jeevan Mendis to perform in the spin department.

Also back is Kusal Perera who is unlikely to open the batting with that function now falling on the shoulders of Kusal Mendis who became an instant hit during the concluded two-match series in Bangladesh which Sri Lanka won 2-0.

The World T20 championship in 2012 marked the last occasion Sri Lanka hosted a T20 showpiece on home soil and the Nidahas Trophy is expected to ignite the excitement once again with the host country on the rise after a successful showing in Bangladesh last month.All matches start at 7 pm.

Sri Lanka squad: Dinesh Chandimal (captain), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Dananjaya de Silva

India squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant (wk)

Match Schedule:

March 6 (Tuesday): Sri Lanka vs India

March 8 (Thursday) India vs Bangladesh

March 10 (Saturday) Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh

March 12 (Monday) Sri Lanka vs India

March 14 (Wednesday) India vs Bangladesh

March 16 (Friday) Sri Lanka vs Bangladesh

March 18 (Sunday) Final