Rohit Sharma
Captain Rohit Sharma will be key to India's chances in the upcoming T20I tri-series.ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

India and Sri Lanka will play the opening match of Nidahas Trophy 2018 -- the T20I tri-series being held to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the island nation's independence -- at R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday, March 6.

Rohit Sharma will lead a second-string Indian side in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has been rested along with MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya.

India looking to test bench strength

The third-ranked T20I  have a strong batting unit, consisting senior campaigners of the likes of skipper Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey and KL Rahul.

However, their bowling attack looks fragile due to the lack of big names. The visitors though have a good opportunity to test their bench strength. The likes of Jaydev Unadkat Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel, who got limited opportunities in the recently-concluded tour of South Africa, will look to impress the selectors.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is also among the ones to look out for and he is expected to fight for the stumper's role in the playing XI with recently-appointed Kolkata Knight Riders' skipper Karthik.

Washington Sundar, who played against a visiting Sri Lankan side last year, might get the nod ahead of uncapped Deepak Hooda and fast-bowling all-rounder Vijay Shankar in the playing XI, considering the slow nature of the R Premadasa wicket.

Can Sri Lanka stop India's dominant run?

Nidahas Trophy 2018
India are heading into the T20I tri-series as favorites.ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka will be looking to improve their recent record against India as they were steamrolled by the Asian giants both at home and on the road last year. Virat Kohli's men completed a dominating 9-0 win after winning the five-match ODI, three-match Test and the one-off T20I between July and September 2017.

Sri Lanka though will look to take confidence from their morale-boosting wins during their tour to Bangladesh earlier this year. Under newly-appointed coach Chandika Hathurasingha, the Islanders crushed the Tigers 2-0 in a T20I series following their victories in the ODI and Test series.

The hosts will be missing veteran all-rounder Angelo Mathews due to injury concern, but the Dinesh Chandimal side has enough firepower to begin the landmark series with a win on Tuesday.

When is the match and how to watch it live

The first match of the T20I tri-series between Sri Lanka and India will start at 7pm IST, 7pm local and 1:30pm GMT.

Sri Lanka vs India Live stream and TV schedule

  1. India: TV - DSport, DD National; Live stream - Watch DSport, DSport on Jio TV, Airtel TV
  2. Bangladesh: TV - GTV
  3. Sri Lanka: SLRC (Channel Eye); Live stream - Channel Eye
  4. UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand: Live stream - Yupp TV

Sri Lanka team Squads

Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (c), Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Suranga Lakmal, Isuru Udana, Akila Dananjaya, Amila Aponso, Nuwan Pradeep, Dushmantha Chameera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera.

India team Squads

India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Vijay Shankar, Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj, Rishabh Pant.