The India vs Sri Lanka T20I series got off with a blast on Thursday. The first of three matches were played in Lucknow, and it was a run-fest for the Indian spectators.
Sri Lanka, who were coming into this series after a series against Australia, was looking to start the series on the right note.
Mainly because India fielding, was a relatively inexperienced side.
India had rested Kohli, Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant for the series. However, they had to deal with injuries issues in the form of Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Chahar.
With KL Rahul still injured, they were forced to field with a somewhat younger side. Still, they managed to maintain an upper hand throughout the match.
Sri Lanka had won the toss and decided to bowl first. Considering the condition, they were sure that dew assists the batting team in the second inning. So, if they were able to contain India within a respectable total, the game was there for the winning.
Ishan Kishan provided great start to India
Things didn’t go according to their plan, though. Ishan Kishan, who was promoted to the opening position in Rahul’s absence, decided to make the most of the occasion.
Kishan started off the inning in an extraordinary fashion. In the very second over of the game, he smashed Karunaratne for three consecutive fours to announce his intentions.
His innings only escalated from there onwards. With Rohit Sharma joining in for occasional fireworks, India posted 58 runs in their powerplay overs.
After the first six overs, Rohit Sharma opened his hands too and runs started coming further easily for India.
Both the batters were looking in great touch as they brought up the 100 run partnership. Ishan Kishan had already brought up his fifty in the 10th over, and Rohit was en route to another fifty when he was dismissed in the 12th over by Lahiru Kumara.
It was a slower delivery by the big man that stayed low and castled the Indian skipper. Sharma departed for a well made 44 off 32 balls.
Shreyas Iyer returns to form
In Kohli’s absence, Shreyas Iyer was once again promoted to the number 3 spot. And he continued his team’s incredible run while batting alongside Kishan.
The duo added 44 runs for their team in just five overs. Kishan contributed the most to the partnership despite suffering from cramps.
He fell short of a well-deserved hundred in the 17th over as Shanaka dismissed him for 89 runs.
Kishan’s dismissal saw another promotion in the Indian batting lineup as Ravindra Jadeja was sent at number 4.
Returning after a long gap, Jadeja was promoted ahead of Samson, Hooda, and Venky Iyer. Everyone was expecting him to finish in his typical style.
However, it was Iyer who stole the show in the final three overs. He was going through a bad run of form in the past few matches. But in this match, he answered all his critics with his magnificent knock.
He smashed the bowlers left and right, to add 44 runs for his team in just 18 balls.
During this inning, he also brought up his fourth T20I fifty. With his great inning of 57 off 28, he took India’s score to 199 in 20 overs.
India dominated the second inning as well
The Sri Lankans failed to give the Indian bowlers any challenge whatsoever.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Pathum Nissanka in the most bizarre fashion on the first ball of the inning for a golden duck. Following this, the top order of Sri Lanka fell like the house of cards.
Courtesy of the great rotation of his bowlers by Rohit, Sri Lanka were reduced to 60 for 5 in just 10.5 overs.
In the second part of the inning, Asalanka tried to show some fight for his team, but he couldn’t find the proper support. He scored an unbeaten 53 off 47, but lack of support saw his team lose the match by a massive margin of 62 runs.
Although everyone had a great time out on the field for India, Bhuvnesh Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal were the picks of India’s bowlers.
Both of them picked up, gave away just 20 runs between them, and picked up two wickets each.
This performance gave Rohit a great chance to shuffle around other bowlers, and he took the most advantage of the same. He made Venkatesh Iyer and Deepak Hooda bowl 3 overs each.
Ravindra Jadeja was the only bowler who completed his quota of 4 overs.
India extends their excellent run of form under Rohit Sharma. They will be looking to win their third T20I series on the trot the next time they take the field against Sri Lanka.