- Nidahas Trophy 2018 kicked off with India playing the 1st T20I of the Tri-Series against hosts Sri Lanka at Premadasa International Cricket Stadium
- Sri Lanka defeated Rohit Sharma-led India by 5 wickets in the 1st T20I cricket match
- Shikhar Dhawan, who was the high scorer from India (90 runs), said at the post-match conference that Sri Lanka took the T20I cricket match away during the powerplay
India entered Sri Lanka to play their 1st T20I against the hosts in the Nidahas Trophy 2018 T20I Tri-Series on 6 March 2018, at the R Premadasa Stadium. While it was being speculated that the new look Team India, which was missing as many as six regular players, would stand strong against Sri Lanka, the reality turned out to be different. The Rohit Sharma-led India squad lost the 1st T20I of the Tri-Series to Sri Lanka by 5 wickets, and Shikhar Dhawan had some explanations to give after the match was over.
Powerplay made the difference between winning and losing the 1st T20I between India and Sri Lanka
Speaking to Cricbuzz, about what was the turning point of the 1st T20I, when Sri Lanka came from behind for an overriding victory, Shikhar Dhawan said that the powerplay during Sri Lankan innings made the crucial difference that finally got them the match,
“Powerplay made the difference. The way Kusal (Perera) scored runs. After 6 overs Sri Lanka was at 72 or something, and those 20-25 runs made the difference.”
Sri Lanka damaged India early on, and Kusal Perera took the game away: Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan also spoke about what had went wrong during India’s innings, which restricted the extra runs that the Men in Blue could have scored in a bid to cement their winning chances. The 32-year-old batsman said that Sri Lanka had dealt damage to India early on in the innings, by taking two crucial wickets; Rohit Sharma (0) and Suresh Raina (1).
“They took 2 wickets in the first two overs, that was the damage that they did to us. And of course, when you lose 2 wickets in first two overs, then we had to see that we don’t lose any more wickets. If we hadn’t lost those two wickets, we could have scored more runs.”
“At the end of 6 overs, we were at 40 runs or so, which is only 5-10 runs lesser than what we usually achieve. But at this pitch (R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium), I feel 174 was a good score.”
“It’s just that Kusal Perera played an amazing knock and took the game away from us very quickly.”
On missing out on a possible century
Shikhar Dhawan had opened India’s innings for the Nidahas Trophy 2018 brilliantly against Sri Lanka, as he scored 90 runs off 49 deliveries, registering a strike rate of 183+ which included six boundaries and six sixes as well. Dhawan spoke about missing out on a possible century, and said that it was a little disappointing for the limited-overs bully.
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