‘We lost too many wickets in middle overs’, Shikhar Dhawan rues India’s middle-order collapse against Sri Lanka

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Shikhar Dhawan (pic courtesy: India TV)

Colombo: Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan rues batting collapse after losing too many wickets in the middle overs which they lost by three wickets to Sri Lanka on Friday, admitting that the visitors were only 50 runs short of an ideal target.

India started off well. But after a 90-minute break, when the match resumed, they lost the crucial wickets of Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav. Young gun Prithvi Shaw and Sanju Samson also failed to score big numbers.
Debutant Rahul Chahar was impressive as he picked up three wickets. But eventually, Dasun Shanaka & Co won the match by three wickets. India, however, clinched the three-match series 2-1 as they had won the first two games.

If India had won the third ODI, India would have sealed the series by 3-0, and with this Dhawan would have become the first captain of India to have a clean sweep against any team under his captaincy.

“Things didn’t go our way after the rain break. We got a good start but lost too many wickets in the middle overs. Think we were 50 runs short in the end,” Dhawan said at the post-match presentation.

Despite the loss, Dhawan said he was happy with the way his players put efforts till the end and opined that he is eager for the three T20Is, which are starting from Sunday. “I always analyze where I can improve and get better in strategies. Looking forward to the T20 series. Of course, we were positive that we could defend the target but we knew that we were short. The boys gave a good fight and it was interesting in the end. We always have to keep learning.

Team India handed out debuts to five players in the third ODI Nitish Rana, Rahul Chahar, Chetan Sakariya, Kishnappa Gowtham and Sanju Samson. This is only the second time that India is playing five debutants in a match. “I am glad the players made their debut because everyone was in quarantine for such a long time, and we had this chance because we sealed the series in the last game.”

Talking about his performance Man of the Series Suryakumar Yadav said he was quite disappointed for not scoring a big number.  “Absolutely, I am very disappointed with not getting a big score. The way I started the first game, gave me a lot of confidence. In the 2nd and 3rd match, the situation was perfect to put up a big score and win the games for the team, but it was not the way I should have played and got out. I am really disappointed with that.”

Nonetheless, he said he is hopeful and learning. And he is eagerly looking forward to the T20 series. “I think I have been doing the same things for the last two years. Just look to keep it simple and the mantra has been working. I would have loved to make it big in the last two games, but I am learning. The atmosphere in the camp is really positive and am looking forward to the T20 series.”

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