IND vs SL LIVE Score, 3rd T20: Will India play same Playing XI? Toss, Dream11 prediction, where to watch match today

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India and Sri Lanka have provided undeniable entertainment in the first two T20Is of the series thus far. The third and series-deciding T20I, which will be held at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Saturday, promises more thrilling fare.

The second T20I at Pune provided plenty of fireworks. Dasun Shanaka belted an unbeaten 22-ball 56 to take Sri Lanka to a winning total. India’s Suryakumar Yadav and Axar Patel replied in kind, but it was not enough to prevent a 16-run Sri Lankan win.The series opener at Mumbai was equally exciting, as India pulled off a last-ball victory.

The visitor is certainly up for a fight, and with all to play for on Saturday, India will have its task cut out.

The home side hopes to fix a couple of faults. India has not had the best starts when batting, sliding to 46 for three and 57 for five in the first two matches. In Mumbai, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda and Axar Patel did the repair job. At the same time, it was left to Suryakumar, Axar and Shivam Mavi to keep India in the hunt on Thursday.

While these rescue acts augur well for India’s batting depth, it cannot become a regular occurrence.

Watching his step

Left-arm seamer Arshdeep Singh would like to dismiss Thursday’s horror show as an aberration. Arshdeep inexplicably bowled five no-balls in his two overs, which completely shifted the momentum Sri Lanka’s way. The 23-year-old will have to watch his step on Saturday, especially since he dons the crucial role of death-over specialist.

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It remains to be seen whether the SCA Stadium pitch will aid free-flowing shot-making. Batting did not come easy in the previous T20I held at this venue, in June last year. On a pitch with uneven bounce, South Africa was bundled out for 87 chasing India’s 169 for six.

If the track offers spin, India has two quality tweakers in Axar and Yuzvendra Chahal who can do damage.

For India head coach Rahul Dravid, it is Axar’s evolution as a quality batter that is most pleasing. “Axar’s batting is coming on in leaps and bounds. We always knew his quality as a bowler; it was about developing his batting. He has been working hard on it. He has been with the team for more than a year now, and his batting is an area we had identified,” Dravid said.

The former India captain stated there was no room to tinker with the playing eleven. “The boys who are in the eleven are already young. Ishan (Kishan) and Shubman (Gill) have got just two games. We will not be chopping and changing too much,” Dravid said.

– Ashwin Achal

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