A team wouldn’t ask for more from its leader if he delivers in times of adversity.Rohit Sharma smashed a 41-ball 72 and stitched a 97-run third-wicket stand with Suryakumar Yadav that propelled India to 173 for 8 after Sri Lanka won the toss and opted to bowl at the Dubai International Stadium in Tuesday’s Asia Cup Super Four clash.
But his counter part, Dasun Shanaka, stepped up with an all-round show that was as important as Rohit’s.And in the end, it turned out to carry greater significance as Sri Lanka prevailed over India by six wickets to have one foot in the final.
With back-to-back defeats, India again face an early exit from a multi-team event.If Pakistan beat Afghanistan at Sharjah on Wednesday, it’s curtains for India in this Asia Cup as Babar Azam and his men will then be facing Sri Lanka in Sunday’s decider.
Skipper Shanaka, who earlier scalped Suryakumar and Hardik Pandya at a crucial phase, hit an unbeaten 33 off 18 balls and also stitched an unbroken 64-run fifth-wicket stand with Bhanuka Rajapaksa (25 not out) that took Sri Lanka home with a ball to spare.
This, after Sri Lanka suddenly seemed to be losing the plot with the loss of four wickets for just 13 runs.Credit also goes to Pathum Nissanka (52) and Kusal Mendis (57) for their fearless cricket in their opening stand of 97 in just 11 overs.For India, it’s time to reflect on whether the changes they have been effecting in their XI quite frequently are at all helping them on the road to the T20 World Cup.
The showpiece event in Australia is barely a month-and-ahalf away, yet the team doesn’t have a settled look.What was the reason behind benching young Ravi Bishnoi? Not to say Ravichandran Ashwin had a poor game, but it could be detrimental to the mindset of a youngster as he gets dropped even after such a spirited effort in a high-pressure game.
With KL Rahul falling early, Virat Kohli should have batted with more responsibility.
Fresh from a 60 versus Pakistan last Sunday, Kohli tried to hoick across the line to a Dilshan Madushanka (3/24) delivery that shaped in and left his stumps clatteredSuch a slog was not expected from Kohli as it was just the fourth ball he was facing.