When the Indian team will take the field for the third and final T20I against Sri Lanka at Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium in Dambulla, achieving a clean sweep will be on their mind, while Lankans will be looking forward to saving face and leave the series with a consolation win.
India defeated Sri Lanka in the second T20I by five wickets, gaining an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. For India to achieve the clean sweep, their batting will have to be at its best. Openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma will have to provide with a good, positive start in the powerplay with their hitting abilities. The duo has failed to provide a stable start during the powerplay.
While Mandhana found her touch in the previous match, it will be important for Verma to find hers as she has not looked at her best in both the matches. Batters like Sabbhineni Meghana, Jemimah Rodrigues and wicketkeeper-batter Yastika Bhatia will have to make sure that they keep things steady and all the pressure does not fall on the well-experienced captain Harmanpreet Kaur.
India’s bowling has been fantastic in both matches. While they were consistently great in the first match, the bowling bounced back in the second half of SL’s innings in the next match, where the latter lost six wickets within 33 runs.
Bowlers like Deepti Sharma, Simran Bahadur, Pooja Vastrakar and Radha Yadav will be extremely vital for India’s chances to gain a clean sweep.
On the other hand, Sri Lanka has a lot to work on. Their batting has been a huge concern in both the matches of the series. While it failed completely during the first T20I, the batting line-up fumbled on a solid 87-run opening stand in the next match and lost six wickets in quick succession in pursuit of runs. It will be important for Lankans to combine intent and utmost care in their batting.
For this, openers Vishmi Gunaratne and captain Chamari Athapaththu will have to provide a great start and the middle order consisting of Harshitha Madavi, Kavisha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva etc will have to carry on the momentum carefully.
SL will also have to improve their bowling and work harder to restrict their opponents to more smaller totals and defend their modest totals.
Spinner Inoka Ranaweera and medium-pacer Oshadi Ranasinghe will have to be on their best for Sri Lanka and continue their good show in the series. Spinner Sugandika Kumari will also have to put in more work out in the pitch with her spin.