After good cricket from India in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, especially in the last two matches, which helped the home side win the three-match contest, the action shifts focus to the entertaining T20 format. Three matches are set to be played between the two teams, with the first game scheduled at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Wednesday.
India have a younger T20I side, led by Rohit Sharma for the shorter format. India are without some of their big guns like Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who are regulars for Team India. They have been rested ahead of India tour of South Africa, which starts next month.
In Shikhar's absence, KL Rahul is set to open the innings while no major changes are expected in the middle order from the ODI series.
However, it is in the bowling department, which will witness few changes. The team management will have to see if playing Washington Sundar, who can prove to be a handy batsman, is beneficial. If that is the case, Kuldeep Yadav might have to sit out.
Jasprit Bumrah will be India's number one pacer, but his partner with the new ball could be a toss-up among Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj and Basil Thampi.
Sri Lanka, on the other hand, have not picked their talismanic pacer Lasith Malinga and also rested Suranga Lakmal. The bowling responsibility will have to be shared among Sachith Pathirana, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando and Dusmantha Chameera in the first T20I.
Their batting line up also will look different, with the likes of Kusal Janith Perera back into the playing XI. Niroshan Dickwella and Upul Tharanga could open the innings for Sri Lanka while the middle order will be marshalled by Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne and skipper Thisara Perera.
Though the only T20I at the venue, in 2015, might have been a low-scoring affair, the pitch is expected to assists batsman in the first T20 match of the series.
Predicted playing XI
India: Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat,
Sri Lanka: Thisara Perera(c), Niroshan Dickwella, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Janith Perera, Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne, Dasun Shanaka, Sachith Pathirana, Nuwan Pradeep, Vishwa Fernando, Dusmantha Chameera