The second T20 showed why India are considered the favourites for the World T20. On a slow and low pitch, India made Sri Lanka look like what everyone expected them to look like before the start of the series. The batsmen did their jobs up front, posting a huge score, before the bowlers snuffed out any remote hopes Sri Lanka would have had of chasing down the massive target.
It was as comfortable a victory as they come in T20 cricket, with India making a statement in Ranchi, MS Dhoni's home turf, after that abject performance in the first match in Pune.
Now, it is all about making another statement in Visakhapatnam. If the wicket resembles the one in Ranchi, you feel there will be only one winner, no matter how much Sri Lanka improve in that final match. However, if there is a bit of help for the faster bowlers, it could go either way.
But then, with the World T20 being held in India and sub-continental pitches expected to be batting belters that slow down as the game progresses, there is no reason for the wicket to be anything other than just that. Preparation is key to winning a major tournament, and Vizag will do well to tailor the pitch to the kind of conditions that India will get in the matches they will play in the T20 World Cup.
With Shikhar Dhawan scoring his first ever T20 international hundred in that second match, India have a lethal opening pair, capable of putting any bowling attack to the sword. Kasun Rajitha, after a dream debut, was given a proper lesson by the India batsmen, with pretty much all the Sri Lanka bowlers – Dushmantha Chameera excluded – failing to impress.
The Sri Lanka bowlers, particularly the pacers, will do well to take a leaf out of Chameera's book, because the fast bowler was the only one who stood out, as the rest of them were taken to the cleaners by the home team's batsmen.
However, if India find their rhythm again in the 3rd T20 on Sunday, even good bowling might not be enough. Because when the likes of Rohit, Dhawan and Suresh Raina are in the mood, there really is no stopping this Indian batting lineup, and when that strong batting lineup is backed up by the bowlers, India become a seriously formidable outfit.
The bowling was outstanding in the 2nd T20, with R Ashwin starting things off brilliantly by taking a wicket in the first over – thanks largely to some lightning quick glove work from Dhoni – before Ashish Nehra, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and the part-timers did their jobs as well.
Another such all-round performance, and India will be all smiles on Valentine's Day.
India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20I schedule: Date: Sunday, February 14.
Time: 7.30 pm IST (7.30 pm SLST, 2 pm GMT, 9 am ET).
Venue: ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.
TV listings: India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD1 and Star Sports HD3. Sri Lanka and the rest of the subcontinent: Star Sports. Australia: Fox Sports 1. Middle East and North Africa: OSN Sports Cricket HD. UK: Sky Sports 3. USA and Canada: Willow TV. South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: SuperSport6.