Sri Lanka Vs. West Indies, 1st T20I Preview

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Vs. West Indies

After a pandemic break, International Cricket returns to the Caribbean.

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Sri Lanka takes on the West Indies, which have some of their best players returning to the side.

After trying a handful of new players due to their regulars’ unavailability, the West Indies will be going near full strength ahead of the World T20.

The two sides have not met much in recent times for the shorter formats but were played each other before Covid-19 put a halt on Cricket.

Following the break, Sri Lanka has had mixed fortunes, losing to England, and South Africa, while suffering a handful of injuries.

Sri Lanka, which injuries have haunted, will be missing their captain, Dasun Shanaka, who couldn’t get his visa sorted in time for the tour.

Along with the players, Sri Lanka will be without their fast-bowling coach, who pulled out right before the tour.

To add to their misery, Sri Lanka has not won a game in any format in the last year.

Though there hasn’t been much to show, the West Indies haven’t been much better than the Sri Lankan.

They lead the way in bringing Cricket back and even won a Test in England.

Following the win, the West Indies didn’t have too many results until the Test series win against Bangladesh.

They will be boosted by the return of several stars in the series, and the upcoming games could well show West Indies strength in the shortest format.

The series holds two other factors of significance.

Chris Gayle returns to the national side for the first time since 2019, at the age of 41.

The second factor is the return of Angelo Mathews as the skipper.

Angelo Mathews had his periods leading the Sri Lankan side, but with fitness issues and the lack of results, he couldn’t hold on to the post.

Now, in Dasun Shanaka’s absence, Angelo Mathews finds himself leading Sri Lanka again.

In the Spotlight: 

Angelo Mathews:

Angelo Mathews is back as Sri Lanka’s leader after suffering a handful of injuries, stepping down from captaincy, and building a niche in the side as a senior player.

Mathews has returned to bowling in the LPL, and is in decent form with the bat after a century against England.

With Sri Lanka playing their first T20I after a year, his experience could come in handy as Sri Lanka seeks to end their run of defeats.

Chris Gayle:

After an absence from the international team for two years, Chris Gayle returns at the age of 41, this time in fine form.

He took a break after the World Cup and found himself in a new role during the IPL, where he succeeded at number three.

After finding success in the IPL, Chris Gayle enjoyed even more in the PSL and is now searching for a third T20I title.

After opening for his entire international career, Chris Gayle could well be pushed down to number three after all his success in the leagues earlier.

Team News:

With several first-choice players missing for Sri Lanka, the side has a few options to pick from and rely on their experience heads.

There is a case for playing Ramesh Mendis, who bowls off-spin, and is handy with the bat.

Predicted XI

  1. Niroshan Dickwella
  2. Danushka Gunathilaka
  3. Oshada Fernando
  4. Dinesh Chandimal
  5. Angelo Mathews
  6. Thisara Perera
  7. Ramesh Mendis
  8. Wanindu Hasaranga
  9. Nuwan Pradeep
  10. Dushmantha Chameera
  11. Akila Dananjaya

After a string of fitness tests, Shimron Hetmyer, Oshane Thomas, and Sheldon Cottrell have been left out.

In their absence, an old group of first-choice players returns, with 39-year-old Fidel Edwards among the few.

After finding success at number three, the West Indies may continue to keep Chris Gayle from the top spot providing the side with firepower in the middle.

Predicted XI

  1. Lendl Simmons
  2. Evin Lewis
  3. Chris Gayle
  4. Nicholas Pooran
  5. Kieron Pollard
  6. Rovman Powell
  7. Fabien Allen
  8. Dwayne Bravo
  9. Jason Holder
  10. Akeal Hossain
  11. Fidel Edwards

Pitch and Conditions:

The game will be played in Antigua, and the surface will be similar to the ones experienced in the West Indies of late.

The pitch is likely to be dry and take a turn as the game goes forward.

Sanjay Sanapoori

A mechanical engineering student, who has immense love for cricket. Been a fan of the game since 2009 and would love to stay involved with Cricket someway or the other.