'They will be India's pillars in 3rd T20I': Aakash Chopra predicts two batsmen to come good in decider against Sri Lanka
Former India opener Aakash Chopra named ‘two pillars’ of the depleted Indian side that will take on Sri Lanka in the series-deciding third T20I at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Thursday. Chopra took the names of captain Shikhar Dhawan and talented wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson and referred them as the pillars of the Indian batting line-up.
India were forced to hand four debuts in the 2nd T20I and add all the five net bowlers to their main squad after nine cricketers were sent into isolation including Krunal Pandya, who tested positive for Covid-19.
India played with only five specialist batsmen on Wednesday in which Dhawan and Samson were the most experienced ones.
“Dhawan and Sanju Samson will be the pillars of the batting lineup in the final T20I. What the others like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal and Nitish Rana score will be a bonus. If Dhawan and Sanju Samson take India to a par score, then you never know what can happen. This Sri Lankan team doesn’t know how to cross the finish line. Even in the second T20I, they got stuck a bit,” Chopra said in his YouTube channel after India lost the 2nd T20I by four wickets.
While Dhawan was the top-scorer with a 40 off 42 balls on a difficult Colombo pitch, Samson disappointed again. The right-hander got stuck in the middle and was finally dismissed for 7 off 13 balls in a freakish manner.
Chopra, however, sounded hopeful for Samson to come good in the final T20I. Chopra said Samson has ample IPL experience behind him to come good in international cricket.
“Shikhar Dhawan needs to keep playing in a sensible manner that he has been doing. I am still hopeful of Sanju Samson doing well. I know he is not batting at the position that he is comfortable at. Sanju Samson has only played nine matches.
“You have expectations from those players who, you know, have the capability. Sanju Samson has that ability to perform. He is comparatively more experienced compared to the others, may be not at the international level but definitely in the IPL. He has been playing the IPL for a long time and is even the captain of a franchise (Rajasthan Royals). I have high hopes from him,” Chopra added.