India will lock horns with Sri Lanka in a three-match T20 series starting on Tuesday. The first T20 of the series will be played at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.
Sri Lanka have sent a depleted squad for this tour. The likes of Angelo Mathews, Rangana Herath and Lasith Malinga will not be featuring, as they are all injured. But Sri Lanka still have a lot of talented youngsters in the side who can put up a good show against the hosts in the T20 series.
Meanwhile, India will look to continue their good run of form in the shortest format of the game and with it retain their No.1 rank in T20s.
Here is a look at some of the key battles for the 1st T20:
1. Rohit Sharma vs Dilhara Fernando - The Mumbai Indians captain has been in sublime form with the willow. He was one the highest rungetter in the Australia tour recently. In Indian conditions, Rohit can be even more dangerous. Sri Lanka will be aware of Rohit's current form and thus they will hope Fernando, making his comeback into the team, gets the opener early. Fernando hits the deck hard and can generate that extra bit of pace which can trouble a batsman.
2. Yuvraj Singh vs Sachithra Senanayake: In the absence of Herath, Senanayake will have to step up to the occasion. He will be up against one of the best in business - Yuvraj Singh. Senanayake can be very handy in these Indian pitches. Yuvraj has had problems in the past with right-arm off-spinners, as he tends to get squared up with those good length deliveries that leave him. It wil be interesting to see if Yuvraj can tackle Senanayake's spin and those doosra's as well.
3. Suresh Raina vs Dushmantha Chameera: The left-handed batsman recently played a scintillating innings to help India register a 3-0 win against Australia Down Under. He is one of the best T20 batsmen in the world and is extremely dangerous in sub-continental conditions. However, he has had problems with the short balls in the past and Dushmantha Chameera, who is Sri Lanka's fastest bowler currently, will look to trouble Raina with those deliveries. But he should be careful about his length and speed. Because if Chameera misses his length, Raina will not miss out on sending the ball out of the park.
4. Thisara Perera vs Ravichandran Ashwin: Perera just loves to hit the ball and when he hits it, it stays hit. He is just the kind of batsmen that one needs in the batting lineup in this format of the game. Dhoni will look to deploy his lethal weapon Ashwin to stop Perera from going crazy late on. Ashwin has a lot of variations and on these wickets at home, he is usually very effective.
5. Dinesh Chandimal vs Ravindra Jadeja: Ravindra Jadeja will be a crucial weapon for MS Dhoni in the T20 series against the Lankan Lions. Stand-in skipper of Sri Lanka, Dinesh Chandimal, is their most experienced campaigner in the middle-order and he will have to face the likes of Jadeja, who can be very deceptive in these subcontinental wickets. Chandimal can hit the cricket ball a fair distance and Jadeja will be wary of that.