Sandeep Warrier debuts as India opt to bat

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For Sri Lanka, Pathum Nissanka has replaced Isuru Udana in the XI

India chose to bat vs Sri Lanka

Right-arm seamer Sandeep Warrier, who came on tour as a net bowler, makes his T20I debut for India because of an injury to Navdeep Saini. This means they are even more depleted than they were on Wednesday, but have at least won the toss. Shikhar Dhawan chose to bat first, stating at the toss that he is confident his bowlers can defend whatever his batters manage. Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka said he is happy to bowl first, having been successful doing so in the second match.
Sri Lanka have had to make a change due to injury. Seam-bowler Isuru Udana has gone out of the XI, and top-order batter Pathum Nissanka replaces him. On Wednesday, Sri Lanka had been awash with bowling options, with eight players coming to the bowling crease. Strengthening their batting is perhaps a valid strategic move even without the injury to Udana. Nissanka has played three T20s so far, with a high score of 24, and a strike rate of 116.

That India are forced to pick from their net bowlers is because nine of their players have been put in isolation, after Krunal Pandya tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, and eight of his close contacts have had to go into isolation. India played all 11 available players from the original 20-man squad, on Wednesday, but with Saini having seemingly hurt his shoulder attempting a catch, they have had to dip into their net-bowling reserves. Warrier has 53 domestic T20 wickets, with an economy rate of 7.29.

The series is tied 1-1 at present. There is a chance rain could interrupt play, but there should be enough cricket to constitute a match.

Sri Lanka: 1 Avishka Fernando, 2 Minod Bhanuka (wk), 3 Sadeera Samarawickrama, 4 Dhananjaya de Silva, 5 Pathum Nissanka, 6 Ramesh Mendis, 7 Dasun Shanaka (capt), 8 Wanindu Hasaranga, 9 Chamika Karunaratne, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Akila Dananjaya

India: 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Devdutt Padikkal, 4 Sanju Samson (wk), 5 Nitish Rana, 6 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 7 Sandeep Warrier, 8 Chetan Sakariya, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Rahul Chahar

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo’s Sri Lanka correspondent. @afidelf


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