India made seven changes to the playing XI from the first T20I after COVID-19 hit their camp.
After much deliberation, the second T20I between Sri Lanka and India has got underway. But the visitors are literally playing with the second string XI among the squad picked as eight of their first-choice players on this tour are not available to play. Along with Krunal Pandya who tested positive for COVID-19, his close contacts are missing the last two T20Is despite testing negative for the virus.
It has directly affected India’s balance in the playing XI as the Men in Blue are playing only with five specialist batsmen in Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sanju Samson, Nitish Rana and Devdutt Padikkal. The vice-captain Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been slated to bat at six and as many as six specialist bowlers have made it to the line-up.
This is also the debut game for Padikkal, Gaikwad and Rana while all the other bowlers have less experience but have featured in the shortest format before.
Wasim Jaffer’s funny take on India’s XI
Meanwhile, former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has taken a hilarious take on India’s long tail. He took reference of the Hanuman’s long tail that set Lanka on fire in Ramayan and hilariously warned Sri Lanka to beware of threat that the touring party possesses. “Our tail this match. Be scared Lanka, you’ve been burned before,” Jaffer captioned the picture he posted.
Here’s his tweet:
Our tail this match. Be scared Lanka, you’ve been burned before 😉 #SLvIND pic.twitter.com/55mrNMLceL
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) July 28, 2021
Sri Lanka, in the meantime, also made changes to their line-up as injuries to several players hit their camp. They included Sadeera Samarawickrama and Ramesh Mendis in the playing XI. The home team will now be hoping to level the series given that India is depleted. This is a great chance for them to even win the series and end their drought of winning the bilateral contests in international cricket.
However, for that to happen, they will still have to play their best cricket. India, despite a lot of new faces, are looking a formidable unit as their players have experience of featuring in the Indian Premier League (IPL).