Thakur, Pandey fuel India's revenge against Sri Lanka

16 March, 2018, 05:13 | Author: Alyssa Little
  • Sri Lanka's coach Chandika Hathurusingha speaks with captain Dinesh Chandimal during a practice session on the eve of their clash against Bangladesh. AFP

India moved to the top of the table in the Nidahas Tri-Series Twenty20 tournament with a six-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Monday, but are still not guaranteed a place in the finals. "I always knew what the grip was, and then I learned it on my own". These are exciting times for me. Bouncing back from an ordinary outing in the opener at the R Premadasa, Colombo against Sri Lanka, Thakur showed what he was capable of when he picked four wickets in the second meeting with the hosts at the same venue. "On a wicket like this where batting has come easy, damage control is the most important thing", Mahmudullah said on Tuesday (March 13). They found the gap, played risk-free cricket and reached the target with 9 balls to spare. "Probably for two years, I have been practising it now", he added. They won the inaugural match in Nidahas Trophy 2018 against India but in their second match which was against Bangladesh, the Tigers made an extraordinary victory over the Lions. Net run-rate will also be a factor.

However, later India came to chase 152 runs against Sri Lanka. Dinesh Karthik is yet to be dismissed in three visits to the crease, and the only point of major worry is that Rohit Sharma, the captain, hasn't got a big knock yet.

Skipper Rohit Sharma has been out of form and the Mumbai batsman would like to hit the purple patch as soon as possible. The team is not likely to experiment too much with the playing XI which means Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel and Mohammed Siraj, who have not yet been featured in the series so far, might not get a chance to play again. Rohit's sudden slump does not augur well for the Indian team as well as his franchise Mumbai Indians in the upcoming Indian Premier League. Suresh Raina has got 20s while Manish Pandey has remained steady in the middle-order. Dinesh Karthik's 39 off 25 balls against Sri Lanka has ensured that Rishabh Pant will continue to warm the dug-out.

Sri Lanka, however, could not make the most of the start and lost wickets at regular intervals to squander the momentum.

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By this win, India has managed to avenge upon their five-wicket loss to Sri Lanka in the tournament opener.

In the bowling department, Jaydev Unadkat has been expensive in all the three matches.

Thakur said getting Upul Tharanga (Vijay Shankar dismissed him) and Thisara Perera quickly enabled them to cut down on at least 20 runs.

India's bowling line-up comprising of in-form Shardul Thakur with crafty Washinton Sundar and experienced Yuzvendra Chahal looks pretty sorted.

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