Indian captain Rohit Sharma and Sri Lankan captain Dinesh Chandimal posing with the trophy. Photograph:( Twitter )
Sri Lanka is celebrating its 70th year of Independence by organising a cricket tournament named "Nidahas Trophy" which is a tri-nation series. The tournament includes India, Bangladesh and the host country. The first such tournament was played in 1998 marking Sri Lanka's 50th year of Independence. The word "Nidahas" means independence in Sanskrit.
The Nidahas Trophy Twenty20 International tournament has been scheduled from March 6 to March 18 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The first match will be played between India and Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium on March 6, Tuesday.
Even with India's selection having raised eyebrows, India is entering the tournament as a favourite to win the title though some of the star players have been dropped for the series like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav. In the absence of regular captain, Rohit Sharma is leading the squad of young buds.
Rohit Sharma said:
"We won't label ourselves as favourites. The T20 format is unpredictable and you got to be on the money at all times. Both our oppositions are strong and we look forward to a good contest" - @ImRo45— BCCI (@BCCI) March 5, 2018
Sri Lanka's record against India is woeful but the appointment of new head coach Chandika Hathurusingha has helped spark an upturn in fortunes.
The Lions recently defeated Bangladesh in two Test matches and won the T20 series 2-0, with opening batsman Kusal Mendis a key figure in Sri Lanka's resurgence.
Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik(w), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaydev Unadkat, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Hooda
Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal(w/c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Nuwan Pradeep, Amila Aponso, Isuru Udana, Dushmantha Chameera