India register their third-lowest T20I total of all time as batting capitulates
Having no option but to go with only five specialist batsman, India's batting cut a sorry figure as they limped to a lowly 81/8 from 20 overs against Sri Lanka in the series-deciding third T20I in Colombo on Thursday.
After India captain Shikhar Dhawan won the toss and decided to bat, he would have hoped for a similar start as yesterday and a little more improvement from the middle order, but instead, the team suffered one of their worst batting collapses of all time and ended up with their third-lowest T20I total of all time.
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Birthday boy, Wanindu Hasaranga, the world's No. 2-ranked T20I bowler, took a big step towards moving to the top of the list as he finished with astonishing figures of 4/9, emerging as the wrecker-in-chief for Sri Lanka.
Once Shikhar Dhawan fell in the first over for a golden duck, there was no looking back. India were shredded to 36/5 before Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16) and Kuldeep Yadav (23) hung on to ensure the lowest total of 74 was crossed. Ruturaj Gaikwad with 14 was the only other India batsman to enter double digits.
Besides Hasaranga, captain Dasun Shanaka picked up 2/20, including taking a stunning one-handed catch to dismiss Nitish Rana. India's youngsters failed to step up to the occasion as Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson, Gaikwad and Rana fell in quick succession without contributing much.
Padikkal started well with a boundary before he was out LBW to Ramesh Mendis. The next over is where India lost the plot with Hasaranga dismissing Samson for a three-ball duck and then Gaikwad in a space of three deliveries.
As mentioned above, India's 81/8 is their third-lowest T20I total, after 74 vs Australia (Melbourne 2008) and 79 vs New Zealand (Nagpur 2016). On both occasions, India had lost the match – by nine wickets and 47 runs respectively. Also, this is the second-lowest total by a team (full members only) when batting full 20 overs, behind West Indies' 79/7.