Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy during the ongoing tour of Sri Lanka has caught the admiration of several fans and experts. Dhawan has done a brilliant job with this mostly young and unexperienced Indian side and with the ODI series already won, they now have their eyes set on the T20I series.
Pakistan wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal has also been heavily impressed with Dhawan’s captaincy, even likening him to former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. This opinion became much more grounded after the first T20I between India and Sri Lanka. India posted a total of 165 and cleaned up Sri Lanka for 126 to seal victory.
Kamran Akmal said that Dhawan performed well under pressure and his bowling changes were impressive.
“Shikhar Dhawan’s captaincy in the first T20I was really good. The bowling changes and field placings were impressive. Dhawan seems like a cool captain. In fact, I can see shades of MS Dhoni in Dhawan’s calm and composed captaincy. He took excellent decisions under pressure and did not panic even after Sri Lanka got off to a quick start.
To win by 38 runs after the Lankans were 20 for no loss after two overs was an excellent effort and, Dhawan must get some credit for it. Of course, the bowlers were also brilliant,” Akmal said in his YouTube video.
“Sri Lanka were playing well but, we knew our spinners will get some turn. Yuzi (Yuzvendra Chahal) and KP (Krunal Pandya) bowled really well. And even Varun (Chakravarthy), playing his first match.”
On the other hand, former Pakistan cricketer Ramiz Raja slammed the Sri Lankan side for their poor showing against India on his YouTube channel.
“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.
“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,” concluded Raja.