India will look to lock their place in the final of the 2016 Asia Cup T20 with a victory over Sri Lanka at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur Tuesday.
Having won their first two matches of the tournament so far, India will guarantee a place in the top two of the Asia Cup points table with a win over Sri Lanka. With Bangladesh and Pakistan playing each other Wednesday, one of them are bound to lose, making India's place in the final of the Asia Cup assured, provided they beat Sri Lanka.
Even if they fail to pick up a victory against Sri Lanka, India will still have a really good opportunity to make it to the final, considering their final league stage match is against the UAE. However, MS Dhoni and co. will be determined to lock their place in the summit clash on Sunday as quickly as possible, meaning a victory will be the target Tuesday.
There is nothing to suggest they will not be able to do that either, with India in terrific form at the moment, both with bat and ball. On a pitch that has helped the bowlers considerably, India have produced the highest score of the tournament so far, by some distance, while also proving their chops with the ball, restricting their two opponents to below par totals.
While India's opening victory over Bangladesh was impressive, that was nothing compared to the bowling and fielding show Dhoni's men put on against Pakistan, their biggest rivals. While the top order wobbled a little in the chase of 83 – and any team would have struggled against Mohammad Amir in that kind of form – India showed their batting strength, with Virat Kohli leading the way with one of his best ever T20I knocks.
However you look at it, India seem to be strong, and the only thing likely top trip them up is injury. With MS Dhoni continuing to nurse a back problem and Shikhar Dhawan missing the last game with a "niggle", the last thing India would have wanted is another walking wounded, but that is what they have to deal with now, with Rohit Sharma bruising his left toe.
Rohit might still feature against Sri Lanka, though, even with the toe issue, but the team management will do well not to risk Rohit, Dhoni or Dhawan, considering the proximity to the World T20 and how important those three are to India's fortunes.
Even if all three are ruled out – and that looks unlikely with Dhoni and Dhawan taking part in practice Monday – India will still go into this game as the favourites, against a Sri Lanka side who continue to struggle with their identity post the Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene era.
It was alarming to see how easy the Bangladesh bowlers found it in restricting the Sri Lanka batsmen, who just could not get going, chasing a target they should have at least made a game of. Even Angelo Mathews, usually so reliable under pressure, was not his usual self, and that will be a big concern for Sri Lanka.
The Lankans need the likes of Tillakaratne Dilshan, Lasith Malinga, expected to return for this match, and Mathews -- their most experienced players -- to step up and lead by example, otherwise their Asia Cup title defence will end in a whimper.
Where to Watch Live
India vs Sri Lanka will begin at 7 pm IST (7.30 pm local time, 7 pm SLST, 1.30 pm GMT, 8.30 am ET). Viewers in India can watch this Asia Cup match live on their TV sets on Star Sports 1, Star Sports 3, Star Sports HD3 and Star Sports HD1 (the two 3s will have Hindi commentary). Hotstar and Starsports online will provide the online live streaming options.
Sri Lanka viewers can catch all the action live on National TV and MTV Sports.
Viewers in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, USA, UK, Europe, Malaysia and Singapore can watch India vs Sri Lanka live on Yupp TV, with the live stream option on Yupp TV online.
Viewers in Pakistan can watch the Asia Cup action live on Geo Super, PTV and Ten Sports, while Channel 9 will broadcast the match live in Bangladesh.
OSN Sports Cricket HD will broadcast the match live in the Middle East and North Africa, while the match can also be live streamed on OSN Play.