With the big-hitting Chris Gayle in blazing form and also playing at his ‘home town’, a run feast is on the cards for the locals at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
In their opener at the Wankhede in Mumbai, Gayle’s power-packed unbeaten century steered the Caribbeans home comfortably against England.
On the other hand, Lanka rode on Tillakaratne Dilshan’s knock to overhaul the target against minnows Afghanistan at the Eden Gardens. In their build-up to the mega event, Sri Lanka succumbed to three back-to-back losses in the Asia Cup T20 and later slumped to two losses in the warm-up games.
To cap it all, Lanka suffered a huge blow as Malinga had to return home due to a knee injury and the slinger’s absence could affect the their campaign. On Sunday, Darren Sammy’s side will be expecting Gayle to continue his dominant form while for the rivals, it will be daunting task stopping him on a batting-friendly surface.
Apart from Gayle, the West Indies boast T20 specialists and the depth in their batting line-up is also a concern for a struggling Angelo Mathews-led Lanka.
Following their convincing win, West Indies are expected to stick to the winning combination.
Spearhead Jerome Taylor, allrounders Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo and Carlos Braithwaite make the pace department while leg-spinner Samuel Badree and left-arm spinner Sulieman Benn are likely to man the spin attack. Lanka are not short of experience either. With Mathews leading from the front and with a better understanding of the conditions in the sub-continent, the Lankans have always fared well in tackling the Gayle-storm.
In World T20 matches so far, Lanka have won five out of their six clashes. The only occasion Lanka went down was in the World T20 title clash four summers ago against the West Indies. (Courtesy Deccan Chronicle)