India barely managed to put together a team of XI in the second T20I against Sri Lanka as nine of their players were forced into isolation after being identified as close contacts to Krunal Pandya who tested positive for Covid-19. The absence of that many players meant that India had to include the reserve players – Ishan Porel, Sandeep Warrier, Arshdeep Singh, Sai Kishore, Simarjeet Singh who went with the squad as net bowlers, into the regular squad. However, none of them was selected in the second ODI. Meanwhile, India are likely to make a forced change in the third T20I as fast bowler Navdeep Saini may not be available for selection after sustaining a shoulder injury in the last game.
The incident happened during Sri Lanka’s inning when Navdeep Saini, fielding at cover, leapt to catch the ball hit by Chamika Karunaratne. Not only he failed to catch the fall, which was just beyond his reach, but also landed awkwardly on his shoulder and was seen in immense pain before being carried away off the field. By the looks of Saini, he looked in great discomfort and it’s unlikely he will recover in time. This means that few spare players are likely to feature in India’s paying XI for the final T20I. Notably, Saini was not used by Shikhar Dhawan in the second T20I as India was playing with six specialist bowlers thus even if he does not play, it won’t be a big loss to India.
Meanwhile, the series is evenly poised at 1-1 with the final being played today, Thursday, June 29. Sri Lanka would certainly fancy their chances against a depleted Indian side. However, even with all the lack of resources and inexperience, India cannot be counted out. They showed great fighting spirit in the last game and hung around till the final over. The batting is a concern for India with not many options available. However, the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Sanju Samson, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devdutt Padikkal are good enough to take the Indian team to 150 which could well turn out to be a winning score against this Sri Lankan batting lineup.