Ranchi, Feb 11: Team India is going to face an inexperienced yet upbeat Sri Lankan side in the second T20 match at Ranchi.
Having shocked by rookie Lankan pacers in the first T20 match at Pune, MS Dhoni and Co. would be hoping to level the series 1-1. Sri Lankan pacers stunned the Indian batters as well as fans with their bowling performance on the 'English' Pune track.
MSD & Co would be hoping to level series at Ranchi:
Now, that Men In Blue will be playing in MS Dhoni's own backyard before his home fans, he can hope to get a typical sub-continent wicket at a ground, which is hosting its first ever Twenty20 International.
Sri Lanka, with many inexperienced players in the side, have nothing to lose and will go all out to seal the series. The Sri Lankan pace trio of -- Kasun Rajitha, Dushmantha Chameera and Dasun Shanaka -- made a good impression on a lively track but they will be tested in Ranchi.
They will be facing a tough task at Ranchi because the track here will not be the same as it was on the previous ocassion and the Indian batters would probably not repeat the same mistake.
But, Sri Lankan bowlers are not the real problem for the Indian side, actually it was the Indian batters who played insensibly resulting into India's loss in first T20.
Hosts responsible for loss in 1st T20:
It was the self destruct mode, that Indian batters looked in, helped the Lankans who were even termed underdogs before start of this series.
It is true that the Lankans have nothing to lose in the series for they are an inexperienced side in front of Indian batters, who only a week ago scripted history on Australian soil by handing over Aussies their first ever whitewash.
It was the phenomenal batting form of the top order and clinical bowling performance that helped India beat Australia 3-0 in the T20 series.
It was quite evident in the opening game that Indians failed terribly from the bat as no one barring R Ashwin tried to spend some on time at the crease and played irresponsible shots ultimately losing their wickets.
Indian batters, right from the start, failed to read the pitch and underestimated the bowlers.
Lessons for Team India from Pune: Concentrate on batting
Loss in the 1st match is an eye opener for the numero uno side in ICC T20 rankings. Experts and fans jointly criticised the callous approach of the hosts in Pune.
Experts termed the loss as an eye opener for the 'overconfident' Indian side which failed badly on its home turf, despite having several T20 specialists in the playing XI.
Certainly, the Indians misread the Lankan side and paid the price.
Thus, Pune should be a big lesson for the Indian batters as they will change their approach and play sensibly at JSCA International Stadium Complex, where they haven't lost a single ODI.
The track here is a batsman's paradise, hence we could expect a high scoring game on Friday.
One just hopes 'in form' Indian batters have learnt from their mistakes in previous game and win 2nd T20 to make way for summit clash at Vizag. Indian batting, from the very beginning, seemed confused in the first game and hope the loss has calmed their nerves.
Series loss against an inexperienced Sri Lankan side would only damage the confidence of the side that had recently defeated the Australians and take the psychological advantage off them in the run up to Asia Cup and World T20.
Bowling shouldn't be a concern
The pace battery of Ashish Nehra and young Jasprit Bumrah looks settled and has delivered well in the low scoring game at Pune. Had batters posted 15-20 odd runs on the board who knows the hosts would have been on the winning side.
Even spinners are in good form, making Indian bowling more lethal. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have troubled every side over home turf. But, bowlers' effort would go in vain if batters fail, for India's strength is batting.
Focus would be on MS Dhoni
Fans focus would be on local boy MS Dhoni and hope he entertains the crowd with his captaincy and batting, if given a chance. It will also be interesting to see how skipper utilises his bowlers. The skipper has certainly a lot to prove before upcoming Asia Cup T20 in Bangladesh and World T20 at home.
One just hopes MSD regains his old touch with his bat as well as in his captaincy before the two big tournaments.