Shikhar Dhawan who rediscovered his rhythm with a superb half-century in the third and final T20I against Sri Lanka at the MCA Stadium in Pune went on to reveal why Sanju Samson was selected instead of Rishabh Pant in that match. Samson, who had played his first T20I match after 2015 was out lbw off the second delivery after he had got off the mark with a six.
“As a team, we wanted to give chance to everyone and that’s why they’ve been rotating players. Till the World Cup comes, everyone is refined and know their job as well. “It is more to give players (time), like how Sanju Samson came in today (at number 3), then Shreyas (Iyer), so they can get more time in the middle because it is a totally different field when you are batting in the match and having more overs and so that was the reason today.
“And last game was quite normal and before that, I was not in the team, so I didn’t watch matches as well and I didn’t know what was happening. But today’s one I can tell say that that was the reason said Shikhar Dhawan during the post-match press conference.
“Even Manish Pandey went up. So they can have more time, otherwise, the same pattern going on'', he added.
Chasing a huge target of 202, Sri Lanka were never really there in the run chase as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Dhananjaya de Silva played a cameo knock of a 36-ball 57 at a strike rate of 158.33. However, his single-hearted effort was not enough as the visitors were bundled out for 123 with 4.1 overs to spare as India registered a comfortable win by 78 runs to win their third straight T20I series.
Earlier, India who were asked to bat first by Sri Lankan skipper Lasith Malinga got off to a flying start courtesy of an opening partnership between Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul who added 97 runs. Both went on to score their respective half-centuries. However, after their dismissals, quick wickets seemed to derail the Indian innings. And after skipper Kohli was run out for a 17-ball 26, it appeared like the Men In Blue would not be able to finish their innings well.
Manish Pandey, who was promoted up the order had other ideas as he cut loose and took the Lankan bowlers to the cleaners. He remained unbeaten on an 18-ball 31 at a strike rate of 172.22 as India finished at 201/6 in 20 overs.
(Image Courtesy: AP)