The Men in Blue have been playing exceptionally well, and they have demolished many teams. The Indians have also performed well overseas and have thrashed the South Africans in both 50-over and T20 format.

However, this time round in the Nidahas Trophy which will be hosted by Sri Lanka and also includes Bangladesh will not see Virat Kohli, wicket-keeper MS Dhoni, and seamers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvnehswar Kumar. So it will be upon Rohit Sharma to lead the side, and Dinesh Karthik will be seen behind the stumps.

The 2018 Nidahas T20 tri-series opens up challenges and also new opportunities. The team will sorely miss the wise heads of both Kohli as well as Dhoni.

However, it will give many greenhorns like Shankar, Sundar, Hooda, Pant, and Siraj to show their talent. Besides Hooda and Shankar, all the others have been a part of ‘hit and trial’ process set into motion by Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli.

Closely watched by selectors and IPL franchises

The championship will also become the anvil for testing different players and will be watched closely by Indian selectors and Indian Premier League franchises. If the new bunch of players can fully realize their potential, it will be an onerous task for the selectors, who to select and who to drop.

However, it is a good thing and good for the national team also.

The selectors will be closely watching the performance of Hooda who was in the Indian squad for the three-match bilateral T20 series versus Sri Lanka in December but was not able to play. The 22-year-old Rohtak born player will now get a chance to show his mettle under the captainship of Rohit Sharma. Hooda is not a stranger to the conditions in the island nation having played there twice before and feels that the situation is much akin to Asian conditions.

Schedule

The first game will be played between India vs Sri Lanka on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, at 7 PM IST.

TV coverage and live streaming online

  • India: DSport, DD Sports
  • Bangladesh: Gazi TV (GTV)
  • Sri Lanka: SLRC
  • South Africa: SuperSport
  • USA: Willow TV
  • UK: Sky Sports

Many newcomers

Washington Sundar had made his ODI and T20 debut against Sri Lanka in December 2017.

He could provide much-needed support to Yuzvendra Chahal in Sri Lanka where the conditions are best suited for his type of bowling. Siraj has been one of the significant wicket-takers in the domestic 2017/18 Vijay Hazare Trophy with an impressive haul of 23 wickets. He would like to erase the bad memories of a disastrous start against New Zealand.

Another greenhorn to reckon is Pant who after a shaky start in one T20 against the West Indies in 2017, has regained form and hammered 411 runs at a strike-rate of 195.6, including a 38-ball 116 against Himachal Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

Bangladeshi skipper Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out

The situation in the Bangladeshi camp is also not very rosy and Bangladeshi skipper Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out of the upcoming tri-nation Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka as he is still nursing a finger injury. He sustained the injury in the tri-nation ODI competition in Dhaka while playing Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh had included Shakib in the hope that he will recover sometime later during the tournament. Coach Courtney Walsh is of the view that he should not be rushed into playing till his wound is completely healed. Bangladesh will sorely miss the exploits of their captain since he excels in every department of the game – Batting, Bowling, Fielding, as well as an intelligent captain.

Bangladesh team will be raring to make a point especially after a string of losses - Tri-nation series, Test series and T20 series against the Sri Lankans. All the eyes will be focused on pacer Mustafizur Rahman who has bothered both Indian and Sri Lankan batsmen in the past.