With the ODI series having been wrapped up in India’s favour after Deepak Chahar’s late heroics in the second game, the focus would now shift to the T20I series. All the three T20I games would happen at Colombo, with the first one starting on 25th July. From India’s point of view, this series would be a defining platform for a few World T20 aspirants to seal their spot. However, the Sri Lankans would be keen on building some momentum ahead of the World T20. On that note, in this article, we predict four players who could win the man of the series award in the upcoming India vs SL T20I tournament.
1) Prithvi Shaw
Incidentally, Prithvi Shaw is yet to make his T20I debut. In the upcoming India vs SL T20I tournament, the youngster will be one of the preferred openers alongside Shikhar Dhawan. The way he has started off in the ODI series and the kind of form that he is in, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Shaw ends up as the Man of the Series in his debut tournament itself.
In just eight games in the first phase of IPL 2021, Prithvi has scored 308 runs at a strike rate of 166.49 and an average of 38.50. This is the resultant of the tweak in the technique that Shaw applied after he was dropped from Team India. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he made 827 runs in eight games at a stunning average of 165.40. Since then, he has been in form, and it’s likely to continue against Sri Lanka.
2) Suryakumar Yadav
One man who has been incessantly scoring runs in the T20 format is Suryakumar Yadav. The middle-order batsman’s most impressive aspect is his fearlessness and the technique that he has to complement it. SKY is especially brutal against the spinners, which would come in handy on pitches in Sri Lanka. He has already got two good knocks under his belt in the ODIs, and that would only add confidence as he turns up in the T20I series.
The Mumbai batsman is also in contention to be in India’s World T20 squad. Hence, the motivation can’t be bigger for him to be at his best. From 2018, he has scored more than 400 runs in all completed IPL campaigns. Considering he would bat at No.3 in the T20I team, chances are more for SKY to add to his run-count.
3) Wanindu Hasaranga
One of the very few players to have picked up a hat trick on his ODI debut, the last few have months have seen the spectacular rise of Wanindu Hasaranga. After his stellar show in the Sri Lankan Premier League, the all-rounder made his way to the Lankan squad. In only 19 T20I games so far, Wanindu has already collected 26 wickets apart from scoring 163 runs in the lower middle-order.
Even in the second ODI, he picked three wickets, giving away just 37 runs in 10 runs. This had applied the brakes on India’s chase. With the T20 format being his forte, he is one of the players who could win the man of the series award in the India vs SL T20I tournament.
4) Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Injuries have hampered Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s bowling form in recent years. Nevertheless, the player seems to have returned to his peak fitness now. The Uttar Pradesh cricketer is also India’s vice-captain for the squad that’s touring Sri Lanka.
It has actually been a while since Bhuvi has delivered a match-winning performance in T20Is. However, the situation seems perfect for him to get back to his best. He picked three wickets in the second ODI and showed signs of his past self. Since he will play all three games, if Bhuvi can manage to start well, he could be in line to receive the Player of the Series award.