India are playing some good T20 cricket in 2016 and their only blip came against Sri Lanka in the first T20 in Pune. However, they dominated Sri Lanka in the second T20, winning the match by 69 runs. With this win, India have a chance to register back-to-back series win when they clash against Sri Lanka in the third T20 in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
India defeated Australia in the last T20 series Down Under and will be more than determined to defeat Sri Lanka at home, which will act as perfect preparation for the upcoming Asia Cup (February-March) and World T20 (March-April).
MS Dhoni and his men, who were beaten comprehensively in the first T20, showed their class in the second T20 with an impressive all-round performance. They need to come up with a similar performance if they are to clinch the series on Sunday, which should not be a huge problem if one looks at the form of the India players of late barring the 1st T20 in Pune.
The pitch in Visakhapatnam, as always, is expected to favour the batsmen, and this will not please the visitors as they have a terrific young bowling attack to rattle the India batsmen, which was witnessed in the first T20. However, India, who possesses a dangerous batting line up will bank on their batsmen irrespective of whether they bat first or second.
With Shikhar Dhawan scoring his first half-century in T20I in Ranchi, he should be confident in the third T20 to score more runs and help India taste series success once again. In Dhawan and Rohit, they have a wonderful opening pair, who can throw the Lankan blowers out of the attack.
Apart from the openers, their middle order is as strong as ever with the likes of Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, who also talked about trying out new things ahead of the world T20. The captain did promote Hardik Pandya at the top of the order in the second T20, which yielded positive result. Will Dhoni experiment on Sunday?
With the Asia Cup and World T20 coming up, India need to give their powerful left-hander Yuvraj Singh and captain Dhoni more time at the middle in the third T20. The duo will play an important role in the Asia Cup and World T20 during the slog overs.
Despite possessing a strong batting line up, India batsmen have to be on top of their game against the Lankan bowlers. The visitors' bowling attack may lack experience, but they have some impressive fast bowlers in their team. Bowlers such as Kasun Rajitha and Dushmantha Chameera are huge threat for the Indian batsmen. Apart from the seamers, Sachithra Senanayake with his off-break will try to contain the India batsmen and take wickets as well.
The Sri Lankan bowlers might have been impressive in the series, but their batsmen have been rather disappointing with the willow. With Tilakratne Dilshan being their key player, he has to shoulder the batting responsibility at the top of the order and score runs at a brisk rate. His failure in the second T20 must have encouraged him to come up with a better performance in the third T20.
But, Sri Lanka cannot depend on Dilshan alone. They need their other two experienced campaigners, Chamara Kapugedera and Dinesh Chandimal, who have both been decent in the series, to come up with quality innings. With India slow bowlers such as Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin in good form, it is not going to be any easy for Sri Lanka.
Though India might be clear favourites to win the series on Sunday, they cannot afford to take Sri Lanka lightly.
Where to watch live
India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 is scheduled for 7.30 p.m. IST and SLST (2 p.m. GMT, 9 a.m. ET) start. Star Sports 1/HD, Star Sports 3/HD will broadcast the India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 match live in India. The Star Sports network will also provide live coverage in the entire Indian subcontinent including Sri Lanka. Starsports.com and Hotstar will provide live streaming for the India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 match.
The India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 will be shown live in the US and Canada aon Willow TV and Willow TV Online.
Australia viewers can watch the India vs Sri Lanka 3rd T20 on Fox Sports, while the live stream option is onFoxtel.
OSN Sports Cricket HD will provide live TV coverage of the India vs Sri Lanka 3nd T20 match in the Middle East and North Africa, while the action can also be live streamed on OSN Play.
Viewers in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa can watch India vs Sri Lanka live on SuperSport , while the online live streaming option is on SuperSport Live Video.