Let it be said: India were a poor second to Sri Lanka in the first T20 at Nagpur. You can take a bow to Gautam Gambhir or be happy at the return of Ishant Sharma but the hosts were literally pounded in the day-night game.
There were very few positives from the game. The Indian team is trying to reclaim their T20 territory but if it is in this way, they would lose whatever little ground they have gained. Don't forget India have been T20 champions.
Fielding of course was nightmarish. No sooner had the captain praised his mates in Mumbai for the manner in which they fielded in the Test series, dropping nothing, India held on to almost nothing in Nagpur! Straightforward or juggling or hard-hit return chances, Indians made a mess of it all.
Teams love taking wickets in the final overs and Indians appeared intent on providing this advantage to the visitors.
Lankans complicated matters with clever shot selections. I have never seen so many reverse sweeps played in a single innings. The fielders were further flustered by the quick dashes of Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara between the stumps. Sangakkara in particular was absolutely brilliant in his approach to the game.
The same cannot be said for the Indian bowlers who either bowled too full or too short and worse, on either side of the wicket.
Even variations in pace was completely absent. Indians were just too slack and sloppy in a format where the margin for error is minimal.
From a healthy 93 for 1 in the ninth over to 129 for 7 in the 14th — it does not speak well of the middle order.
Though only 29 runs separated the two teams, Indians were a beaten side much before the final ball was bowled.