‘No point in playing at home if you can’t score 160’: Ramiz Raja slams Sri Lanka’s approach in 1st T20I against India
Former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja lashed out at the Sri Lankan team as they lost the first T20I to India by 38 runs on Sunday in Colombo. Despite getting a good start during the chase of 165, the home team succumbed to India’s lethal bowling attack.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck with 4 for 22 while Deepak Chahar picked up 2 wickets as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 126 in 18.3 overs. All three spinners – Krunal Pandya, Varun Chakravarthy and Yuzvendra Chahal – bagged a wicket apiece.
In his latest YouTube video, Raja questioned the planning and approach of Dasun Shanaka-led side while chasing a 166-run target. The former cricketer highlighted that the hosts showed no intent towards stitching crucial partnerships that could have helped them take the game home.
“When India scored 160-odd, they would have thought of winning this because you can expect Sri Lanka to commit mistakes frequently. To chase a target like this, you needed one or two partnerships. At least one batsman should have scored 70-odd runs and you could have crossed the line. But there was no strategy from this Sri Lankan team.
“If you can't chase 160 at home, where will you? And losing a game shatters the confidence of the team. To bring new players into a losing environment is dangerous. An unhappy environment in the dressing room squeezes your confidence and fearlessness. So, it is important for Sri Lanka to start preparing wickets that challenge India,” Ramiz said.
Raja opined that the Sri Lanka team needs to come up with a strategy to revive themselves, adding that they need to win matches at home.
“This could be a tough series for Sri Lanka. They need to do something now. Especially, the middle-order needs to score runs. Similarly, while bowling, you cannot bowl well in patches. You need to be consistent. Spin did work for them but there was no consistency and succumbed to pressure. There's no point in playing at home if you can’t score 160,” Raja concluded.
India and Sri Lanka will now lock horns in the second T20I on Tuesday which will be played at the same venue.