India vs Sri Lanka 1st T20I Live Score: Bumrah, young people in focus while India faces Sri Lanka
Hello and welcome to the live coverage of TimesofIndia.com of the first T20I of the three-game series between India and Sri Lanka in Guwahati.
The man back, Jasprit Bumrah, will be cynical of all eyes during the first T20 international of India against Sri Lanka in 2020, where his world meeting of the same name will have priority especially for the 'Men in blue'.
For four months with a stress fracture in the back, Bumrah, 26, is that precious diamond in this Indian setting, which had been wrapped in cotton during the rehabilitation period.
So much so that he was even exempt from playing first-class domestic cricket for Gujarat after the intervention of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, taking into account the workload he will have to do after the international return.
If 2019 focused on the format of more than 50, the current year will witness that the Indian team plays about 15 games before its T20 World Cup campaign against South Africa begins in Perth in October.
There are slots that will be blocked and until the Indian Premier League ends, a clearer picture is unlikely to appear. But that won't stop head coach Ravi Shastri and pattern Virat Kohli to get the ball going in this current series.
It all starts here at Barsapara Stadium on Sunday, as the largest city in Assam is slowly returning to normal after protests against the Citizens Amendment Act (CAA).
The Indian team would verify how the likes of Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur react to situations of pressure in the murders along with Bumrah in the absence of frontline sprinters Mohammed Shami (rested), Deepak Chahar (stress fracture) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (sports hernia ).
Washington Sundar is still in progress and would like to present performances that can guarantee that only one between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal can be chosen to play XI at any given time.
Shivam Dube is a great sure hitter, but it has not yet been seen if his seams can withstand the attack on docile tracks until Hardik Pandya is fully fit and back in action.
And that persistent question about the consistency of Rishabh Pant with Sanju Samson that has already warmed the banks for six consecutive T20 games and the invisible presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, which makes things a bit disturbing.
While Bumrah, as expected, attracts more eyeballs, the series is also important for Shikhar Dhawan, as he returns to the team after a knee injury.
He will also seek to have an impact in the absence of rested vice-captain Rohit Sharma with KL Rahul in a hot way on the other end.
Upon his return to competitive cricket, the southpaw of Delhi crushed 140 against Hyderabad in a Ranji Trophy match, as he will seek to score in a format, where he has 272 runs in 12 innings to demonstrate his efforts in 2019.
In his latest T20I series, Sri Lanka suffered a 0-3 defeat in Australia, as its batters fought and will be under scrutiny.
They relied heavily on Kusal Perera, who was their main runner with 100 runs in three games in Australia in October-November.
They would also expect the return of former Sri Lankan captain Angelo Mathews, who last played a T20I against South Africa in August 2018.
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Oshada Fernando and Danushka Gunathilaka were their batting pillars in their 3-0 victory in Pakistan in October, as they hope to return between races.
Wanindu Hasaranga, who turned his legs, led the bowling alley in Pakistan with eight three-game wickets with an average of 9.87, but was ineffective in Australia, as he will also seek to contribute.
India lost its only T20 match against Australia on October 10, 2017, which was marred by the impact on the team's bus on the return to the hotel after the game.
It's time for Kohli's men to rewrite their poor record here.