'An off-day for our batting unit': Shikhar Dhawan admits losing early wickets put India under pressure in the decider
India suffered a horrendous batting collapse against Sri Lanka in the third T20I on Thursday. After opting to bat first, captain Shikhar Dhawan bagged a golden duck in the opening over. His dismissal triggered the downfall of India’s batting line-up which comprised only five batsmen – including the skipper who was the only experienced one.
It was probably the first time when Bhuvneshwar Kumar came to bat before the completion of powerplay. The top-order vanished within a no-time as India registered their lowest total ever in the first 10 overs in T20Is – 39 for 5.
Spinner Wanindu Hasaranga wreaked havoc in Colombo as the birthday boy picked up four wickets for 9 runs in his spell while captain Dasun Shanaka scalped a couple as India were restricted to 81/8 – their third-lowest total in T20Is. In reply, the Lankans finished an easy chase with more than 5 overs to spare.
After losing the decider and series 1-2, the Indian captain spoke about the bad day at the office and admitted that the team was under pressure after losing too many wickets in quick succession.
“It was a difficult situation for us. As a team, we decided to stay and play these games. Really proud of the boys as well. They showed great character in the last two games. Their attitude was tremendous. We wanted to win as well; in every game, you learn. It was an off-day for our batting unit. We lost too many wickets; SL bowled well," said Shikhar Dhawan at the post-match presentation.
“When you lose early wickets, you get a lot of pressure, glad that we got to the 80s, that's all we managed today. Both teams played in great spirit. It's beautiful that we were competitive in the field and respect was there,” he added.
Hasaranga bagged the Player of the Series award for his outstanding throughout the series. He ended up as the top wicket-taker of the series with 7 scalps from three games, at an average of 9.57.