Ricky Ponting thinks Rishabh Pant can follow the same path as Rohit Sharma and go on to captain India after becoming an inspirational leader in the Indian Premier League.

Pant was appointed Delhi Capitals skipper ahead of the 2021 IPL with Shreyas Iyer impacted by a shoulder injury.

The India wicketkeeper-batsman retained the role on a permanent basis and will come up against Rohit when Delhi start their IPL campaign with a showdown against Mumbai on Sunday.

Capitals coach Ponting championed Rohit to be installed as Indians skipper during the former Australia captain's time with that franchise and the batter has proved to be an impressive leader - lifting the IPL trophy five times.

Rohit has also taken over from Virat Kohli as India captain and Ponting believes Pant, 24, has the credentials to have that honour.

Ponting said: "I hadn't thought about that actually but they [Pant and Rohit] are actually quite similar.

"When Rohit took over at Mumbai, he was quite a young man as well, and had started out in his international cricket.

"He was probably very similar, I'm not sure how old he was but he would have been 23-24, similar to what Rishabh is here at the Delhi Capitals.

"To tell you honestly, they're quite similar people. I know they are great mates and they talk all the time and they're probably exchanging things about leadership and captaincy along the way as well.

"Rohit probably doesn't want to give too many secrets away because we're going to play against him in a couple of days' time. I think there's every opportunity for Rishabh's journey to be similar to Rohit Sharma's.

"He's a young captain of a successful franchise and growing on a daily basis and hopefully Rishabh can have the same sort of success Rohit's had at the Mumbai Indians.

"And then with some experience in a role like this in a high-pressure tournament like the IPL, I've got no doubt in the years to come there's every chance that Rishabh could be an international captain. No doubt about it."

The Indian Premier League commences on Saturday with two new franchises, an alternative format and no MS Dhoni as captain for the 15th edition of the tournament.

Lucknow Super Giants and Gujarat Titans will make their IPL debuts when they lock horns at the Wankhede Stadium.

The iconic stadium in Mumbai will also stage the opening match, which will see defending champions Chennai Super Kings do battle with Kolkata Knight Riders in a repeat of last year's final.

CSK won the title for a fourth time last October, lifting the trophy in Dubai after the tournament had to be completed in the United Arab Emirates and Oman due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Dhoni stepped down as skipper just two days before the opening game and Ravindra Jadeja has been charged with the task of replacing him.

Crowds will be allowed back in the four stadiums in Mumbai and Pune, with 70 league matches and four play-off showdowns to come over a 65-day period.

 

NEW FORMAT A VIRTUAL REALITY 

There will be two virtual groups based on the number of IPL titles won, followed by how many finals teams have contested.

Each side will take on their group rivals twice and also face two matches against one team from the other group. They will come up against the other teams from a different group just once.

KKR will take on five-time champions Mumbai Indians twice, as they are both in Group A, while Sunrisers Hyderabad are in Group B along with CSK.

 

SUPER GIANTS AND TITANS READY FOR THE BIG TIME

Lucknow and Gujarat will start life in the IPL with high hopes of making a big impact.

KL Rahul will lead the Super Giants side that has Andy Flower as coach. Big things will be expected of Quinton de Kock, Jason Holder and Marcus Stoinis but Mark Wood has been ruled out, so Andrew Tye was brought in as a replacement.

Hardik Pandya was appointed as Titans captain and Ashish Nehra coach. Star spinner Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami were standout signings for Gujarat. Aaron Finch must bring fireworks at the top of the order after he was a late replacement for Jason Roy.

 

JADEJA WITH 'BIG BOOTS TO FILL'

Dhoni had led CSK since the inaugural IPL in 2008, so it was the end of an era when he stepped down on Thursday.

The 40-year-old will continue to play for the Super Kings and it is India all-rounder Jadeja who will step up to skipper the defending champions.

Jadeja said: "I'm feeling good. At the same time, I also need to fill in big boots, [Dhoni] has already set the big legacy so I need to carry [that] forward. I don't need to worry too much because he is here so whenever I have a question to ask, I'll definitely go to him.

"He'll be my go-to person. He was and still he is today, so I'm not worried too much."

 

 

FIT FOR THE KINGS?

Punjab Kings went into the auction with the biggest purse and their new recruits will be expected to deliver.

Powerful all-rounder Liam Livingstone was picked up for a whopping Rs 11.5 crore and his England team-mate Jonny Bairstow was another acquisition.

New skipper Mayank Agarwal will look to South Africa paceman Kagiso Rabada to fire a new dawn for the franchise.

England batter Jason Roy has been given a suspended two-match international ban by the Cricket Discipline Commission.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) revealed Roy had admitted a charge of "conducting himself in a manner which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket, the ECB and himself into disrepute."

A disciplinary panel ruled that the opener had been in breach of ECB Directive 3.3, but did not specify what the matter relates to.

Roy has been given a fine of £2,500, which he must pay by March 31.

The 31-year-old pulled out of this year's Indian Premier League for personal reasons.

Roy had been due to play for new franchise Gujarat Titans in the competition, which runs from March 26 to May 29.

The powerful right-hander was last in action for the Quetta Gladiators in the Pakistan Super League a month ago.

 

Ben Dwarshuis has been called up to the Australia squad for the limited-overs tour of Pakistan after Kane Richardson was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

Richardson aggravated the injury during a training session in Melbourne before Australia fly out to Lahore.

A Cricket Australia statement said: "Although the injury is considered minor it was decided the long trip to Pakistan along with four games in eight days and short turnarounds [that] it was in Richardson's best interests to remain home."

Left-arm seamer Dwarshuis, 27, will be hoping to make his international debut in the absence of Richardson.

Test captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood have been rested for the white-ball contests with Pakistan.

The three-match ODI series starts in Lahore next Tuesday, with a T20 international to come on April 5.

Pakistan have moved their upcoming ODI series and one-off T20I against Australia from Rawalpindi to Lahore due to political unrest in nearby Islamabad.

Australia and Pakistan are currently tussling in a three-match Test series, which is level at 0-0 after two matches, with three ODI clashes and a T20I scheduled to follow.

However, the two respective cricket boards have agreed to relocate the white-ball fixtures to Lahore due to planned political rallies close to Rawalpindi in the neighbouring capital Islamabad.

The opposition to Prime Minister Imran Khan, a former cricket star, recently submitted a vote of no-confidence in the National Assembly.

The government and opposition have both planned political gatherings in response later in March, with Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) announcing they will bring one million people to Islamabad's D-Chowk square.

That led to suggestions from Pakistan interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday to move the white-ball matches, with the square less than two kilometres from both team hotels for the series.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have now followed suit and confirmed the fixtures will be moved to their cricketing headquarters, Lahore, and the dates for the games will not change.

Both teams will remain in Rawalpindi to play out the deciding Test, which starts on Monday, before relocating for the first ODI that takes place on March 29.

Shreyas Iyer struck an unbeaten 73 to guide India to a six-wicket victory and T20I series whitewash over Sri Lanka.

Rohit Sharma's side had already secured the series heading into the clash in Dharamsala after dominant victories in the opening two outings.

India carried on their imperious form in the shortest format as they cantered to victory with 19 balls to spare, sealing their 12th straight T20I win – a feat achieved only by Afghanistan among full-member sides.

Sri Lanka struggled after opting to bat first as Avesh Khan (2-23) and Mohammed Siraj (1-22) picked up early wickets to limit the tourists to a meagre 18-3 in the powerplay.

A fightback from Dinesh Chandimal (22) and Dasun Shanaka (74 not out), who captained his country for the 25th time in T20Is, propelled Sri Lanka to 146-5, with the tourists striking 56 off the last four overs.

India lost captain Sharma (five) to Dushmantha Chameera (1-19) in the second over of their response, but Iyer and Sanju Samson led the recovery before the latter fell for 18.

The hosts retain control from then on, as Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja (22 not out) secured the victory in the 17th over.

It marked India's 10th straight T20I victory over Sri Lanka at home – extending their longest such winning run against any country at home.

Impeccable Iyer

Iyer continued his domination of the Sri Lankan bowlers with another masterclass as he mustered 73 off just 45 deliveries, with his knock including nine fours and one six.

He finished the series as the top run-scorer (204), comfortably ahead of second-placed Shanaka (124), and was not dismissed in his three outings.

Shanaka's heroics in vain

Shanaka delivered for his side on a landmark appearance, striking 74 off 38 balls to take Sri Lanka from 29-4 to 146-5, but his efforts proved fruitless.

In T20Is, only Chandimal has captained Sri Lanka more than the all-rounder, who has won 11 of his 25 matches in charge (L13, T1), but Shanaka will be keen to overturn their poor run of form in Asia sooner rather than later, given they have lost six of their last seven T20I matches on the subcontinent.

A middle-order flourish ensured India eased to another T20I victory, their 100th in the format, and secured a series triumph against Sri Lanka.

The second match of three at Dharamsala went the same way as the first – and indeed the seven completed matches between these sides in this format before that.

India were seven-wicket winners after Rohit Sharma put Sri Lanka into bat, although his opposite number Dasun Shanaka threatened to make life tough for the hosts.

While Pathum Nissanka opened with 75, India would have been comfortable with the tourists' scoring rate until Shanaka arrived at the crease.

He then thrashed 47 off just 19 – five of which went for six – in the closing stages of the innings to reach 183-5.

But it was a similar story for India with the bat, as a slow start offered Sri Lanka hope even as Shreyas Iyer made an unbeaten 74.

Rather than Iyer, whose run rate slowed as the target came into view, his partners got the job done in real style, with 39 off 25 from Sanju Samson and then a stunning 45 off 18 from Ravindra Jadeja.

A four from Jadeja fittingly completed the chase on 186-3 with 17 balls still to spare.

Hundred up

India became only the second men's team to reach 100 wins in T20Is, following Pakistan, whose 117 is a benchmark Rohit's side still have a long way to go to match.

Record in sight

India are tallying wins in this format at quite some rate, however. As well as their ninth in a row against Sri Lanka, this was their 11th in succession against all opponents.

Only Afghanistan, among all full-member sides, have had a longer such sequence, but that run of 12 – set between February 2018 and September 2019 – could now be matched in the final match of this series.

Sanju Samson is already being talked up as a potential T20 World Cup star for India, but first he must impress against Sri Lanka.

Although Samson has played just 10 T20Is since 2015, underwhelming with a combined 117 runs, he is back in the fold again for the three-match series at home to Sri Lanka.

And the 27-year-old could be straight into the XI on Thursday, with space opening up in the middle order.

Suryakumar Yadav is out following an injury against West Indies and has not been replaced, while Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant have been rested.

That may well mean another opportunity for Samson, whose potential has captured the imagination of captain Rohit Sharma.

"His back-foot play is superb," Rohit said ahead of the first match.

"Some of the shots you might have seen in the IPL, the pick-up pull, the cut shots, standing and delivering over the bowler's head. Those kind of shots are not easy to play.

"And I believe when you go to Australia [for the T20 World Cup], you need that kind of shot-making ability.

"Samson definitely has it in him. I just wish him the best and hope that he utilises his potential to the maximum."

India have won more T20Is against Sri Lanka (14) than against any other nation; Sri Lanka have lost more against India than against any other nation.

Rohit's side will be expected to win again then, but experimentation in a World Cup year is also key.

As well as Samson's latest audition, India will take a look at their seam bowling options, with Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel all in the squad.

Deepak Chahar joined Suryakumar in sustaining an injury against West Indies.

Rohit leading from the front

Rohit has been used to setting the tone for India; since the start of the 2021 T20 World Cup, no player can match his 252 powerplay runs in T20Is.

But there is added focus now in his role as captain across all three formats following Kohli's Test resignation.

As well as leading India to success, Rohit must also have a hand in guiding the team's potential future skippers.

"If you talk of Bumrah, KL [Rahul], Pant, all these guys have a big role to play in India's success," he said. "At the same time they are looked upon as leaders as well.

"They do understand what they need to do as individuals. At the same time they realise there is a responsibility on their shoulders.

"You don't want to put any pressure on these guys. They are critical to us. At the moment you want them to enjoy their game, come out freely, and execute their skills."

COVID hits Hasaranga

India's task is set to be made easier after ESPNcricinfo revealed Wanindu Hasaranga has returned another positive coronavirus test, his second this month.

Hasaranga's status for the series as a whole is now in serious doubt.

Since the start of the previous T20 World Cup, his 21 wickets in the format lead all bowlers.

Suryakumar Yadav spearheaded an India flurry late in their innings to ensure Rohit Sharma's team secured a 17-run win over the West Indies in the final T20I.

Having already lost the series heading into the final match on Sunday, West Indies had their tails up when they had India on just 93-4 towards the end of the 14th over in Kolkata.

Ruturaj Gaikwad – one of four changes for the hosts – was dismissed early on, with Shreyas Iyer falling to Hayden Walsh (1-30) on 25, and Roston Chase (1-23) sending Ishan Kishan packing for 34.

Captain Rohit managed just seven, yet Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer combined to hit 86 in the final five overs to reach 184-5.

Yadav's brilliant knock was ended by Romario Shepherd (1-50) on 65 from just 31 balls, as Venkatesh Iyer finished unbeaten on 35.

Deepak Chahar (2-15) took two early wickets to immediately put the Windies on the back foot, only to pull up with an injury and be forced off.

Rovman Powell's 25 off 14 got the run rate up, but he fell in the seventh over, with captain Kieron Pollard (five) swiftly following.

Jason Holder (two) and Chase (12) also went in quick succession, though Nicholas Pooran (61) stayed in to give the Windies hope.

However, Shardul Thakur (2-33) undid the Windies opener in the 18th over, all but ending any lingering hopes.

Stunning late show from India pair

There was some sensational batting on show from Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer, who hit seven and two sixes respectively. They added 91 off 37 deliveries to put the game, truly, beyond the West Indies' reach.

With the ball, Harshal Patel took 3-22 to pick up the slack after Chahar's injury.

India on a roll

India have now won 13 T20Is against the West Indies, only against Sri Lanka (14) have they won more.

Indeed, they also extended their winning streak in the format to nine games, their longest such run in the format. They will go up against Sri Lanka in their next series.

Kusal Mendis' excellent 69 was influential in helping Sri Lanka beat Australia by five wickets and avoid a 5-0 series whitewash in the final T20I in Melbourne.

Opener Mendis carried his bat, hitting five fours and a six off 58 deliveries as Sri Lanka reached their 155 target with just a ball to spare at the MCG.

Captain Dasun Shanaka made a valuable 35 off 31 before departing to Kane Richardson in the final over, while Charith Asalanka made a swift and important 20 off nine.

Earlier, Australia had posted 154-6 having struggled with the bat early in the innings, Matthew Wade top scoring with 43 not out.

The hosts defended pretty well but ultimately did not have enough runs on the board to secure a clean sweep of the series.


AUSSIES SLOW OFF THE MARK

Australia will defend the T20 World Cup on home soil later this year and have used this series to experiment with a few ideas.

On this occasion here, they struggled to get going with the bat and lost openers Aaron Finch (8) and Ben McDermott (3) cheaply.

Josh Inglis (23) and Glenn Maxwell (29) made starts without posting big numbers and had Wade - who had two fours and two sixes in his 27-ball knock - not contributed then it would have been an even tougher outing.


MAGIC MENDIS

One of the key difference makers was Sri Lanka's aggression in the powerplay. The tourists hit 54 runs for the loss of two wickets, compared to Australia's 22.

Asalanka's cameo certainly gave Sri Lanka momentum, but Mendis earned Player of the Match recognition for a fine performance.

Rohit Sharma praised India for a "phenomenal finish" as they halted the West Indies' chase on Friday to clinch the Twenty20 series and reach 100 wins in the format.

India won for an eighth consecutive T20I match, a new record for the nation, as they defeated the tourists by seven runs in Kolkata.

After Rohit and Ishan Kishan managed just 21 runs between them, Virat Kohli and player of the match Rishabh Pant settled any anxiety at the crease by scoring 52 each, with eight boundaries apiece.

Pant's half-century came off just 28 deliveries, while Kohli's score took him to within just three runs of equalling Martin Guptill's T20I record of 3,299 runs.

The West Indies mounted a strong chase, with Nicholas Pooran hitting 62 before being caught off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's delivery – a crucial wicket with just 15 balls remaining.

Rovman Powell's 68 dragged them close to a win, but Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar's expert final overs saw India over the line.

"You are always a bit scared when you are playing against these guys. In the end, it was a phenomenal finish," said Rohit.

"Right from the start, we knew it wouldn't be easy. But I am proud we executed our plans under pressure."

Brilliant Bhuvi

The experience of Bhuvneshwar proved key as the West Indies cranked up the pressure. The 32-year-old finished on 1-29 from four overs, giving up just two boundaries and signing off with just four singles and the wicket of Pooran from his final over.

"It was very critical at that point when Bhuvneshwar bowled," said Rohit. "That's where experience comes into play. Bhuvi has been doing it for many years and we believe in him a lot."

No century celebrations for Pollard

Kieron Pollard became the first West Indies player to reach 100 T20I appearances and the ninth overall in international cricket, although he could not mark the occasion by hitting the single six needed to reach a century in the format.

Pollard, who gave up 14 runs in his solitary over and scored three off the bat from as many deliveries, said of the finish: "We cannot call the batters out. We can look at it in different ways how we could have got those eight runs. We are a work in progress."

Australia recovered to claim a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in Melbourne on Friday as they opened up a 4-0 lead in their five-match T20I series.

The hosts elected to bowl first and, despite being without rested trio Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, restricted their opponents to 139-8 off their 20 overs.

Opener Pathum Nissanka top-scored with 46 off 40 balls, while Kusal Mendis added 27 off 21, but it was another underwhelming batting display from the tourists.

Jhye Richardson impressed with figures of 2-20 off his four overs, paving the way for Australia to make it nine T20Is without defeat against Sri Lanka, winning eight of those.

That is despite getting off to a slow start to their response as openers Ashton Agar and Ben McDermott made 19 off 25 balls, before the latter (nine) fell to Maheesh Theekshana.

Aaron Finch was snared by Danushka Gunathilaka for just two runs off the bowling of Lahiru Kumara and Agar (26) was next to go when he top-edged to Mendis.

But star man Glenn Maxwell and Josh Inglis all but ensured there would be no joy for Sri Lanka with their fourth-wicket stand of 71 off 47 balls. 

Inglis went for 40 off 20, leaving Australia needing 20 off 22, and Maxwell got them over the line with his unbeaten 48 to set up a potential whitewash in Sunday's fifth match.


MCGlee for Maxwell

Australia have now won five of their last seven T20Is at the MCG, including the last three in a row – their best run since winning four in a row between 2008 and 2011.

Agar's struggles as a makeshift opener will be of concern, but Maxwell's 48 off 39 balls – a strike rate of 123.1 – meant Sri Lanka's modest target was never of concern.

Pathum shows more promise

Nissanka headed into the game as the only player to score above 100 runs this series against Australia (125) and the 23-year-old was again Sri Lanka's shining light in the fourth T20I.

He helped steer his side to 73-1 at the halfway mark alongside Mendis, yet the tourists still managed to squander a promising opportunity.

New chairman Lachlan Henderson says Cricket Australia must take time to reflect on the "messy" manner in which Justin Langer's reign as head coach came to an end.

Langer resigned this month after only being offered a six-month contract extension on the back of a 4-0 Ashes thrashing of England.

The former Australia opener had also masterminded a T20 World Cup triumph in the United Arab Emirates last year.

Eyebrows were raised over Langer's dramatic exit, but Australia Test captain Cummins said the feeling in the dressing room was it was the right time for a new coach to be appointed.

New chair Henderson does not want a repeat of the way the situation was played out so publicly. 

He told reporters: "It got messy in terms of things playing out in the media. But the board's role was to receive recommendations from management. We made our decision based on that.

"With any significant decision like that boards should reflect on that process that was involved.

"It is unfortunate that a bit of that played out in the media, and we will reflect on whether that should have been accelerated through the summer."

Henderson will look to bring stability after taking over from interim leader Richard Freudenstein, who stepped in following Earl Eddings' resignation.

The new chair has vowed to be transparent in a new era for Cricket Australia.

"My communication style will be to be open, transparent, hopefully consistent," he said on Thursday. 

"I work in health care. We've negotiated a pandemic in the last two years. That's required a fair amount of resilience. So within the bounds of the confidentiality of boards, I hope that there's a really open and transparent way forward."

India have taken a 1-0 T20I series lead over the West Indies after a six-wicket victory in Wednesday's first test in Kolkata.

It was not always plain sailing for India, but in the end they closed out a comfortable victory that owed much to captain Rohit Sharma, debutant Ravi Bishnoi and Suryakumar Yadav.

West Indies had earlier reached 157-7 over their 20 overs, an innings that began poorly as Brandon King fell for just four to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-31) in the first over – though Kyle Mayers (31) and Nicholas Pooran (61) soon found the tourists some momentum.

After their respective wickets, West Indies really struggled to build up a head of steam again. Bishnoi (2-17) claimed the scalps of Roston Chase (four) and Rovman Powell (two) as the 21-year-old enjoyed a miserly outing on his debut.

Kieron Pollard (24 not out) at least restored a little dignity, but he had little help around him, thus setting India a reachable target.

Rohit's 40 off 19 gave India the start they needed, and Ishan Kishan (35 off 42) proved a solid – if pragmatic – partner until both were undone by Chase's (2-14) bowling.

Fabian Allen (1-23) and Sheldon Cottrell (1-35) then saw to Virat Kohli (17) and Rishabh Pant (eight), respectively, with both batsmen feeling somewhat aggrieved by the decisions.

But any suggestion of West Indies still having a chance were emphatically washed away by Suryakumar (34 not out) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 not out), who eased the hosts over the line at 162-4 with seven balls to spare.

Bishnoi makes his mark

Bishnoi initially looked nervous, throwing three wides in his first over. But he quickly adjusted his focus, posting impressive numbers as he dismissed Chase and Powell.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "The nerves are settled now. I was feeling very good, it's everyone's dream to play for India and I was feeling good. West Indies is one of the best T20 teams and I got the chance to play against them. I'll try to cut down on the wides in the next match!"

Pooran's efforts in vain

Were it not for Pooran's efforts, this would have been an even worse start to the three-match series for the Windies. His 61 with the bat was undoubtedly the highlight of their innings, with Pollard very aware that his side were otherwise disappointing.

Pollard said: "Getting down to the 19th over was good on the part of the bowlers. If I'm being honest, between overs six to 15 we scored too few runs. We were 15-20 runs short."

Australia took an unassailable 3-0 series lead as Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell guided them to a six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka.

In the third T20I of the five-match series, captain Finch scored 35 and Maxwell struck an entertaining 39 to put Australia in control in Canberra.

Australia's bowlers set the tone, limiting Sri Lanka to 121-6 from their 20 overs, with Kane Richardson (3-21) leading the way.

Danushka Gunathilaka (nine) and Charith Asalanka (six) both fell to Richardson in the third over of Sri Lanka's innings, with the Australia paceman then bowling Dinesh Chandimal, whose 25 from 29 deliveries had helped the tourists steady the ship.

Chandimal's stint came after Kusal Mendis (four) and Pathum Nissanka (16) fell in swift succession, and though captain Dasun Shanaka hit an unbeaten 39 that included five boundaries, Chamika Karunaratne's late dismissal to Josh Hazlewood (1-31) left Sri Lanka needing an outstanding performance in the field.

Shorn of the world's number one T20I bowler, with Wanindu Hasaranga testing positive for COVID-19, Sri Lanka started brilliantly – Ben McDermott caught off the first ball.

Maheesh Theekshana sent McDermott packing and dismissed the batsman's fellow opener Ashton Agar for 13 in the fifth over.

Yet with Finch prodding and probing at one end, Maxwell was able to let rip at the other, striking two sixes and three fours in his 26-ball effort.

Maxwell was dropped in the covers, and his luck ran out when he tried to go big off Theekshana, but Finch then stepped up his scoring.

By the time Australia's captain edged Jeffrey Vandersay through to slip, the damage had been done, with Josh Inglis (21) and Marcus Stoinis (12) seeing out a comfortable win.

Aussies roll on

Australia have now registered two consecutive bilateral multi-game series win against Sri Lanka for the first time in the men's T20I format.

Reigning world champions Australia have now won eight successive T20I matches against Sri Lanka, with Stoinis capping this victory with a four that just looped over the man at cow corner.

Theekshana stands tall

Sri Lanka were dealt a huge blow before the match started with the news that Hasaranga had been forced into isolation.

The all-rounder has scalped 41 T20I wickets since the beginning of 2021, the most by any bowler. However, Theekshana at least stepped up to take 3-24 in an impressive four-over spell and give the tourists hope.

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