Sri Lankan bowlers were at the top of their game as Team India was bowled out for just 101 in the first T20 match of the series at Pune on Tuesday.
18.4 Chameera to Nehra
The ball was back of a length on leg stump and Nehra backs away, looks to whip over the leg side, and gets a leading edge that lobs up and drops down for the keeper to take a tumbling catch after running towards point
Over 18: 7 runs off the over. India 97/8
Over 17: 6 runs off the over. India 90/8
Over 16: 4 runs off the over. India 84/8
Over 15: 2 runs off the over. India 80/8
Over 14: 6 runs and one wicket off the over. India 78/8
13.1 Senanayake to Jadeja
Senanayake strikes first ball of a new spell. There’s the one that goes with the arm again, from around the wicket. Jadeja comes forward to defend, plays for turn, and the ball slides past his inside edge and hits his front pad.
Over 13: 8 runs off the over. India 72/7
Over 12: 6 runs off the over. India 64/7
Over 11: 4 runs and a wicket off the over. India 58/7
10.6 Shanaka to Pandya
Good ball, follows up with the full, straight ball, and Pandya’s front pad, perhaps pushing across as a reaction to being opened up the previous ball, is in the way of his bat as he looks to drive through mid-on. Can’t get his bat around his pad in time, and the ball hits him in front
Over 10: 3 runs off the over as India lose yet another wicket. India 54/6
9.4 Chameera to Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj is dreadfully late on the pull. Looked to take it from over his left shoulder, and ended up lobbing it in the air, and the bowler takes a couple of steps to his left to get under the simplest of chances.
Over 9: 4 runs and two huge wickets off the over. India 51/5
8.4 Shanaka to Dhoni
India are five down! That hurried through and Dhoni, attempting to swivel into a pull, can only top-edge to the keeper, who took the catch over his head
8.2 Shanaka to Raina
Pitches on leg stump and straightens to hit leg stump after Raina clears his front leg in an effort to make room for an on-the-up drive into the covers.
Over 8: 4 runs off the over. India 47/3
Over 7: 3 runs off the over. India 43/3
Over 6: 8 runs off the over. India 40/3
Over 5: A big over for India as they score 13 runs, but they lose Dhawan on the last ball. India 32/3
4.6 Rajitha to Dhawan
Dhawan slogs at this length ball, which doesn’t swing in this time but keeps going with the angle across him, and the top edge soars towards third man, where Gunathilaka falls to his right to take the catch.
Over 4: 9 runs off the over. India 19/2
Over 3: A dropped chance for Sri Lanka as 5 runs came off the over. India 10/2
Over 2: A maiden over from Thisara Perera. India 5/2
Over 1: India lose two major wickets in the first over of the match. India 5/2
0.6 Rajitha to Rahane
Two wickets in his first over! This one’s banged in short, angling into the batsman, who looks to tuck it into the leg side with the angle, but it seamed away a touch, bounced a little more, and popped up off the leading edge for short extra cover to dive forward and take a good low catch
0.2 Rajitha to Rohit Sharma
That’s a wicket for Rajitha off his second ball in international cricket! I don’t know if that stopped on Rohit a little. He checked his drive, and spooned it in the air for mid-off to catch diving to his right
Team India will be aiming to hold on to their current form when they take on an injury-hit Sri Lanka in the opening game of their three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Tuesday.
The confidence of the home team is sky high following a 3-0 hammering of Australia Down Under and the T20I series against the Island nation will be ideal for preparations for the upcoming Asia Cup in Bangladesh and World T20 in India in March-April.
India, who vaulted seven places to first after sweeping aside Australia last week, need to win the series against Lanka to retain the coveted position in International Cricket Council (ICC) T20I rankings. While Lanka will also aim to win the series, if they win it 2-1 they will gain the top spot and India will slip to third position.
India’s star batsman Virat Kohli has been rested for the series ahead of the all important Asia Cup and World T20.
Despite Kohli’s absence, the hosts need not worry much as openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been in good form of late.
The duo will aim to exploit the Lankan bowlers in batting friendly Indian pitches especially when pacer Lasith Malinga is not in the squad due to injury.
The return of experienced Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh into the squad makes it more challenging for the opposition. Both the left-handers steered the team to victory in the final T20I match against Australia.
Fit-again Ajinkya Rahane, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and in-form Manish Pandey who scored a brilliant ton Down Under in the final One-Day International (ODI) match make the batting line-up even stronger.
In the bowling department, spinning duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja give the hosts an edge.
Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra, young Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be raring to make an impact at home after a successful outing in Australia.
On the other hand, veteran fast bowler Dilhara Fernando was recalled in the Dinesh Chandimal-led weak Lankan side. The 36-year-old Fernando last played for his national side way back in 2012 and played 40 Tests, 141 ODIs and 17 T20 internationals for them.
T20I captain Malinga misses out due to injury, along with all-rounder Angelo Mathews, seamer Nuwan Kulasekara, and left-arm spinner Rangana Herath.
With the absence of experienced players from the visiting squad, the hosts will aim to make the best use of it to get their first win under their belt on Tuesday.